THE MS. STEREOTYPE REVISITED: IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT FACETS

Authors


  • Kelly A. Malcolmson and Lisa Sinclair, Department of Psychology, University of Winnipeg.

  • Kelly A. Malcolmson is now at the Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo. This research was conducted as part of an Advanced Readings and Research Course by the first author under the supervision of the second author. It was supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to the second author. We are grateful to Marian Morry for comments on an earlier version of this paper and to Brigitte Sabourin for assistance with various aspects of the research.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Lisa Sinclair, Department of Psychology, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3B 2E9. E-mail: l.sinclair@uwinnipeg.ca

Abstract

Implicit and explicit stereotypes toward the title Ms. were examined. Participants read a short description of a target person whose title of address varied (Ms., Mrs., Miss, Mr.). They then rated the person on agentic and communal traits and completed an Implicit Association Test. Replicating earlier research (Dion, 1987), at an explicit level, women using the title Ms. were seen as less communal than individuals using the title Mrs. or Mr. and more agentic than individuals using the titles Mrs., Mr., or Miss. This time, however, women using the title Miss were also seen as less communal and more agentic than women using the title Mrs. but not as agentic as women using the title Ms. On the implicit measure, Ms. was relatively more associated with agentic than communal traits compared to Mrs. but not to Miss.

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