ERIC Number: ED213506
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Long-Haired Girl, Short-Haired Boy: Imagery Use in Preschoolers' Stereotypes About Sex Differences in Emotionality.
Birnbaum, Dana W.
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence and the relative salience of imagery and contextual cues in the mediation of preschoolers' emotional stereotypes. Fourteen male and 14 female preschoolers enrolled in a university summer preschool program were presented with six hypothetical emotional situations in story form -- 2 each for the emotions of anger, happiness, and fear. Each of the stories was augmented by one of two descriptive characteristics (i.e., imagery cues) of the central character. Thus, a character was described either as "with long, blond hair" (a female cue), or "with short, dark hair" (a male cue). For each subject, half of the situations contained female imagery cues and half contained male imagery cues (one male and one female cue per emotion). Subjects were then instructed to listen to each situation and decide if the character in the story was a boy or a girl. Following their gender attributions, subjects were asked to supply reasons for their gender choices. Using chi-square analysis, results provided further evidence for preschoolers' stereotyping of sex differences in emotionality. Results also confirm the finding that the salient feature of a particular situation may well override a young child's stereotypic beliefs about sex differences in individual aspects of emotionality. Further, results suggest that while imagery cues may indeed be used to mediate emotional stereotypes, their mere presence does not guarantee their use by the child, since their salience is also dependent upon situational and contextual cues. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Emotions; Gender Identity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (52nd, New York, NY, April 22-25, 1981).