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

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 April 20, 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 April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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:
from the past week

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