Marhenke, Tristan (2019). Attitudes towards babies. Social influences and gender differences in the context of baby attitudes. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

Baby Priming Dissertation TMarhenke.pdf

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This dissertation thesis consists of three chapters with this content: Chapter 1: As increasingly remote concepts and behaviors have been primed, which have come under increasing criticism, we took a step back and tried to strengthen the roots of priming research. In the present study, we systematically varied in six studies (N=1285) the activation or priming of a concept. Then we measured accessibility for semantic concepts using the word stem completion task. Across six studies, our investigations showed that the activation of semantic concepts is possible through greater accessibility of semantically congruent words (with only one study failing to reach conventional level of significance), so that the prerequisite is given for further investigation by behavioral priming. The present study showed that the basal priming mechanisms are robust effects. The meta-analytic integration showed that women had reliably more baby-related words accessible. An at least imaginable explanation is that social role stereotypes associate women more with the reproductive sphere than men and that women to a certain extent internalize these societal views. Other explanations and potential future applications are discussed. Chapter 2: The attitudes towards children are more complex than simple positive/negative distinctions. In the present study, we sought in two studies (N=445) to provide a tool to explore different facets of attitudes towards babies and procreation by developing and validating a questionnaire regarding attitudes towards procreation. Both English and German versions were tested. As another goal, we examined whether gender differences can be found. The Procreation Attitude Scales (PrAttS) consists of 13 items representing three underlying dimensions: (1) unconditional positivity, (2) anticipated annoyance and (3) contingent willingness. The present investigations showed twice a gender difference in emotional attitudes, revealing that women have a stronger emotional interest in procreation and babies. However, the current paper also showed twice that this gender difference disappears when the motivational attitude to procreation and babies was measured. These results show that attitudes toward babies are multifaceted and that supposedly reliable gender differences are less reliable than commonly thought. The PrAttS provides an explicit method of interest for children, providing an alternative to more recently criticized implicit measures. Chapter 3: Sarah Bem introduced the concept of androgyny, which disconnects sex and gender and includes a continuous representation of gender. What has not been investigated so far is whether the particular qualities postulated by Bem are qualities of gender rather than sex-associated traits. In the present study, the reversed correlation task as a data driven approach was used to determine the implicit gender stereotypes across the faces of men and women and to create an ideal protoype of feminine and masculine faces. Then it was measured which impressions these faces evoke. Two studies and a pilot study (N=514) were conducted. The present study showed that gender and not sex is crucial for the attribution of social characteristics. Pictures of stereotypical faces have been found to be highly suitable for measuring masculinity and femininity. The continuous properties of masculinity and femininity, as outlined by Bem (1974), are still appropriate to differentiate between the stereotypical ideas of men and women.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Marhenke, Tristantristan.marhenke@gmx.deUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-94031
Subjects: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
word stem completion task, semantic concepts, social role stereotypeUNSPECIFIED
attitudes towards children, bilingual questionnaire, gender differencesUNSPECIFIED
Reversed correlation task, face perception, gender, androgynyUNSPECIFIED
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Psychologie
Language: English
Date: 28 February 2019
Date of oral exam: 25 January 2019
NameAcademic Title
Imhoff, RolandProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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