EFFECTS OF RACE AND SEX UPON THE ATTRIBUTIONS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE

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Abstract:

Male and female subjects rated an individual described as either male or female, white or native Indian who chose an upwardly or downwardly mobile occupation (teacher or store clerk). Previous research on sex role stereotyping suggests that males, but not necessarily females, anticipate female underachievement and failure. This finding was supported on a number of dependent variables. For example. female characters were rated as more expressive in their behavior but less likely to succeed at their occupation than male characters, and male subjects were more surprised at the male, but not the female, character's choice of a downwardly mobile career. The present study also found a number of changes in traditional sex roles, particularly for female subjects. These subjects were surprised at the job choice of the downwardly mobile female, and rated the character as weak and lazy, but rated the upwardly mobile female as strong and ambitious. Contrary to attribution theory, race of the character did not interact with either sex or occupation. This finding is consistent, however, with other results which suggest that race may be less important than occupational status or sexual gender in trait attributions to stimulus characters.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1977.5.2.199

Publication date: January 1, 1977

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