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Perceptions of success and life satisfaction: a gender examination in Taiwan


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to I-Ching Lee, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University, 64 Zhi-nan Rd. Sec. 2, Taipei 116, Taiwan. E-mail:


Gender socialization creates an expectation that men should achieve success (regardless of how it is defined), so men are under greater pressure than women when encountering successful persons and, accordingly, experience lower life satisfaction. Two experiments were conducted in Taiwan to test the proposed effects on life satisfaction. Study 1 showed that 149 students were more likely to infer successful targets as male than female. A path model demonstrated that feeling less powerful against ideal same-sex persons predicted men's (but not women's) lower life satisfaction after they read about successful targets. Study 2 (106 students) showed that reading about successful targets had differential effects for men and women. Implications regarding culture, gender, and life satisfaction were discussed.