Why Study the Psychology of Women? Critical thinking about gender issues. Qualitative/Phenomenological vs. Quantitative. Statistical Significance. Components of critical thinking. Ask good questions about what you see or hear: a search for moderator variables. Determine when conclusions are supported by the evidence provided. Suggest alternative interpretations of the evidence. Why Study the Psychology of Women? Many traditional psychological theories were developed by studying all male sample, and thus, have been gender biased . Androcentrism = The male experience is viewed as standard. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/18735108/ns/todaytravel/t/discrimination-debate-women-only-hotelfloors/ Women and Men: Similar or Different? Similarities Approach: Beta bias Men and women are basically alike in their intellectual and social behavior Differences between women and men are produced by socialization, not biology Women and Men: Similar or Different? (Cont…) Differences Approach: Alpha bias Emphasizes differences between women and men Essentialism = Differences are thought to arise from essential qualities within the individual that are rooted in biology May emphasize and celebrate positive qualities historically associated with women (cultural feminism) Definitions. sex = the classification of individuals as female or male based on their genetic makeup, anatomy, and reproductive functions. gender = the meanings that societies and individuals give to female and male categories. gender differences = psychological differences between males and females w/o regard for causation. Definitions (Cont…) feminist = a person who favors political, economic and social equality of men and women, and therefore, favors legal and social changes that will be necessary to achieve that equality. Post-feminism? Ambivalent Sexism (Glick & Fiske, 2007; Lee et al., 2010) Hostile sexism: negative stereotypes of women Benevolent sexism: positive characterizations such as “women are pure” or “women should be protected” Changes in sexist attitudes over time Sexism has decreased in the U.S. since 1970 May be due in part to changes in legislation However, may reflect decreased social acceptability of blatantly sexist views rather than real changes in beliefs Women vary in their willingness to acknowledge their own experience with discrimination (e.g., Carvallo & Pelham, 2006) Sources of Sex Bias in Psychological Research. Bias in topic selection & questions asked. Bias in choice of sample. Bias in measurement. Experimenter effects. Observer effects. Bias in interpretation. Bias in publishing the results.