ERIC Number: ED250624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Interaction Style as a Product of Perceived Sex Differences in Competence.
Wood, Wendy; Karten, Stephen J.
Males' and females' interaction styles were observed while they worked in four-person, mixed-sex groups on a discussion task. In some groups, members were only given information about each others' names and gender. Under these conditions, males were perceived higher in competence than females. Further, males were found to engage in a greater amount of active task behavior than females (e.g., giving information, giving opinions), and females exhibited a greater amount of positive social behavior than males (e.g., agreeing, acting friendly). In other groups, members' competency-based status was manipulated by providing false feedback that they were high or low in overall intellectual and moral aptitude. High status members were then perceived to be more competent than low status ones, and further, high status individuals engaged in more active task and less positive social behavior than low status people. In these conditions, no effects for gender were obtained on perceived competence or on active task or positive social behavior. Correlational analyses supported the idea that the gender differences obtained in interaction when status was not specified were partially a function of inferred sex differences in competence. When direct information concerning members' competence was provided, however, this data apparently blocked the gender-to-competence inference and status alone affected perceived competence and interaction style. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A version of this report was presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).