ERIC Number: ED248689
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
What's in a Name? Attitudes toward Ms. and Other Courtesy Titles.
Crawford, Mary; And Others
A survey of 99 female and 78 male college students regarding their attitudes toward titles of address for men (Mr.) and women (Miss, Mrs., and Ms.) had the students rate 10 concepts on 15 bipolar semantic differential scales. Nine of the concepts were neutral to the study's objectives, and the tenth was the concept of differential address for men and women. The scales used represented three universal components of affective meaning: evaluation, potency, and activity. It was found that on the evaluation scale, males and females agree that the four forms of address connote different degrees of goodness, with "Ms." receiving the lowest ratings. Comparisons showed "Ms." and "Mr." were rated lower than "Miss" or "Mrs." On the potency scale, males and females rated "Mr." lowest in potency, with "Ms." not siginificantly higher. Males rated "Mrs." significantly higher than the other three titles, while females rated "Miss" higher than the other three. On the activity measure, male and female subjects agreed that "Mr." and "Mrs." were lower in activity than "Miss" and "Ms.", with the latter receiving the highest absolute rating and "Mr." receiving the lowest. In sum, both males and females ascribed different affective meanings to the four forms of address on all three basic dimensions. However, no direct evidence was found in this study on whether these interpretations are extended to the titles' users. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Address Forms
Note: Portions may be marginally legible due to poor print quality.