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ERIC Number: ED370054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Revisited: Emotionality as a Necessary Component of Credibility
Sigal, Janet; And Others
In the years since the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation hearings, it is apparent that this event has had some far-reaching consequences. Although the immediate outcome of the Senate hearings was not positive for Professor Hill, the effect of her testimony seems to have been to encourage more discussion of sexual harassment. The effects of the emotionality of the victim and aggressor, as well as the time period between the sexual harassment incidents and the filing of the official complaint on perceptions of guilt and credibility, were examined in this analogue vignette study. It was hypothesized that with increased emotionality of the victim, and decreased emotionality of the defendant and one month since the alleged harassment, the defendant would be more likely to be judged guilty, to receive more severe punishment when judged guilty, and to be perceived as less believable. It was also predicted that the victim would be perceived as more credible under such conditions. One hundred fifty-five undergraduates heard an audiotape of simulated university committee hearing in which a male professor was accused of sexual harassment by a female student. When the victim was highly emotional and when the victim and defendant's level of emotionality did not match, the defendant was perceived more negatively. A six-month delay in reporting the harassment incident to the committee resulted in higher credibility ratings of the victim. The findings were related to the Hill/Thomas Senate confirmation hearings. (Author/BF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A