Occupation, competence, and role overload as evaluation determinants of successful women

In order to determine what variables contribute or detract from the interpersonal attraction of a successful career woman, 80 male and 80 female introductory psychology students from California State University, Northridge viewed one of eight different videotapes of a female stimulus person discussing aspects of her career and homelife. Two levels of occupation (traditional vs. nontraditional), two levels of competence (high vs. low), and two levels of role overload (high vs. low) were factorially varied for each videotape. This manipulation served four purposes. First, it assessed whether men respond more negatively than women to a female stimulus person in a nontraditional occupation (as was suggested by one group of investigators) or whether there is no longer a sex of subject difference in response to such a cue (as was suggested by another group of investigators.) Second, the study assessed whether the sex of subject difference reported by the aforementioned investigators was the result of subjects’ attitudes toward women or instead a function of their sex.