CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Effects of Sex of Pressuring Group, Perception of Ability, and Sex of Communicator Influencing Perceived Ability on Conformity of Males and Females


This study assessed the differential effects of sex of pressuring confederates and perception of ability on conforming behavior of males and females. Varying male and female sources of the communication to influence subjects' views of their ability was expected to produce less conformity in females receiving the information from a male rather than a female. Data on undergraduates showed 64 females did not conform significantly more than 64 males, but male subjects conformed more in the presence of male confederates while females conformed significantly more when led to believe that males were more accurate on the task. Only the male source influencing females to believe they were superior on the task resulted in significantly less conformity in female subjects. Considering sex differences is essential due to the finding that the sexes responded to different variables present in most conformity experiments. The

decrease in conformity produced in females when told by a male that females do better than males has implications for the use of male sources of communication to increase independent behavior of women.

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Notes/Citation Information

Dr. Diane Follingstad had not been a faculty member of the University of Kentucky at the publication time.

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