Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male modesty not appreciated by female or male interviewers, study suggests

Date:
July 31, 2010
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
A researcher who explored the consequences for men (and women) when they acted modestly in job interviews found that "modest" males were less liked, a sign of social backlash. Modesty was viewed as a sign of weakness, a low-status character trait for males that could adversely affect their employability or earnings potential. Modesty in women, however, was not viewed negatively nor was it linked to status.

Macho, macho man. I’ve got to be, a macho man. Macho, macho man. I’ve got to be a macho! — The Village People

Related Articles


It's more than 30 years since that Disco Era anthem first blared though dance club speakers and into America's consciousness, but does the message still sing true for the 2lst century male? Does he still got to be a macho man? Are there penalties for not being macho enough?

Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, a doctoral candidate in Rutgers' Department of Psychology, explored the consequences for men (and women) when they acted modestly in job interviews. She co-authored, with graduate fellow Julie E. Phelan and Professor Laurie A. Rudman, "When Men Break the Gender Rules: Status Incongruity and Backlash Against Modest Men" in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

According to Moss-Racusin, the applicants in the staged interviews were judged equally competent, but the "modest" males were less liked, a sign of social backlash. Modesty was viewed as a sign of weakness, a low-status character trait for males that could adversely affect their employability or earnings potential. Modesty in women, however, was not viewed negatively nor was it linked to status.

"For men and women, there are things they must and must not be," Moss-Racusin says. "Women must be communal and other-oriented, but they must not be dominant. Historically and cross-culturally, men have been stereotyped as more agentic, that is, more independent and self-focused than women."

In the study, 132 female and 100 male student volunteers (who earned partial academic credit for their psychology course) viewed videotaped, 15-minute job interviews of either males or females. All the applicants were paid actors rehearsed to deliver similar, "modest" responses for the gender-neutral position that required strong technical abilities and social skills.

The researchers sought to determine which gender stereotype promote backlash. "Women are allowed to be weak while this trait is strongly prohibited in men," Moss-Racusin said. "By contrast, dominance is reserved for men and prohibited for women. Thus, gender stereotypes are comprised of four sets of rules and expectations for behavior consist of both 'shoulds' and 'should nots' for each gender."

The researchers' prediction that modest male applicants would face hiring discrimination was not supported, however, and she speculates that because men's status is higher than women's, meek men are afforded the benefit of the doubt and are less likely to encounter hiring discrimination than dominant women.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers University. The original article was written by Steve Manas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Moss-Racusin et al. When men break the gender rules: Status incongruity and backlash against modest men.. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 2010; 11 (2): 140 DOI: 10.1037/a0018093

Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Male modesty not appreciated by female or male interviewers, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729122330.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2010, July 31). Male modesty not appreciated by female or male interviewers, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729122330.htm
Rutgers University. "Male modesty not appreciated by female or male interviewers, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729122330.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins