The use of the forced compliance paradigm in modifying sex role attitudes and its relation to feedback, sex role orientation and perceptual differentiation
The study explored whether use of the forced compliance paradigm could influence sex role stereotypes. It also investigated whether feedback, sex role orientation and perceptual differentiation interacted with attitudes;Two hundred college subjects were placed in one of three experimental groups. All subjects completed the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1978) as the pretest, posttest and post posttest. Subjects also completed the Personality Attributes Questionnaire (Spence, Helmreich & Stapp, 1974) to discern sex role orientations and the Group Embedded Figures Test (Oltman, Raskin & Witkin, 1971) to determine perceptual differentiations. All subjects were pretested, posttested two weeks later, and post posttested one month following the posttest. At one week intervals, treatment subjects wrote three short essays that espoused nonsexist positions. One treatment group received feedback on the essays they wrote;The three groups were similar in their initial attitudes toward women, their sex role orientations and their perceptual differentiations. When subjects who wrote essays were compared to subjects who did not write essays, they reflected a significantly (p < .08) more liberal attitude toward women. This attitude change was not maintained on the post posttest;Those who wrote essays but did not receive feedback on the essays were significantly more liberal toward women than the control (p < .04). The more liberal attitude continued on the post posttest (p < .10);Masculine, feminine, androgynous and undifferentiated sex role orientations, and field independence and field dependence perceptual differentiations did not interact significantly with the treatment;References;Oltman, P. K., Raskin, E. & Witkin, H. A. Manual for Group Embedded Figures Test. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1971;Spence, J. T. & Helmreich, R. Masculinity and Femininity: Their Psychological Dimensions, Correlates and Antecedents. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978;Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. and Stapp, J. The personal attributes questionnaire: a measure of sex role stereotypes and masculinity-femininity. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1974, 4, 43. (Ms. No. 617).