Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Nicholas Holtzman

Committee Member 1

Amy Hackney

Committee Member 2

Karen Naufel

Abstract

It is clear that social influence can elicit conformity to norms (e.g., Asch, 1956). It remains unclear, however, how various relationships elicit differential conformity to masculine norms in particular. In this pre-registered experiment, I tested the hypothesis that when men are asked to reveal their responses on the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory (CMNI; Mahalik et al., 2003), men conform more when sharing that identifiable information with others who know them (i.e., “public” conformity), namely friends and family, as compared to sharing that information anonymously with a random stranger (i.e., the anonymous “private” condition). My convenience sample consisted of participants (valid N = 65) who were all European American heterosexual men enrolled in a large rural state university in the southeastern United States. Participants entered each of the three randomized conditions (i.e., family, friends, anonymous), guided by a research assistant who was blind to the hypotheses and who verbally delivered each manipulation. For the two public conditions, participants provided an email address for two intended recipients of the conformity scores. For each of the public conditions, participants indicated their perceived psychological closeness to the people with whom they were supposedly sharing the information. For each of the three conditions, participants indicated their comfort with sharing said information. Unexpectedly, the CMNI score means for the three conditions were virtually identical and were not significantly different. Granting credence to the manipulation, however, participants were significantly less comfortable with sharing information in the public conditions (MFamily < MFriends < MAnonymous). Thus, despite men being relatively less comfortable with publicly sharing CMNI responses, in both public and private, men may exhibit stability in gender conformity (with the caveat that there are, of course, individual differences in mean levels). This finding contrasts with the idea that men exhibit a public masculine façade; men appear to privately accept the degree of masculinity that they portray to close others.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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