When refusal-goals turn into acquiescence behavior. Gender differences following refusal priming - a goal systems account

  • The aim of the current experiments was to enhance the understanding of automatic self-regulation processes facilitating the pursuit of high-priority goals acquired through socialization, which in the present proposal refers to goals of interdependence and independence. More specifically, we assume that a) in Western societies of today, due to gender-typed enculturation practices, women are more likely to strive for interdependence, whereas men are more likely to strive for independence (Cross & Madson, 1997); b) refusal-behavior is consistent with an independent self-construal but may threaten an interdependent self-construal (e.g., Adachi, 1997); c) therefore, preconscious activation of a refusal-goal should increase the accessibility of an independent self-construal in men but an interdependent self-construal in women (Fishbach, Friedman, & Kruglanski, 2003); and, finally, d) these differences in self-construal are expected to influence judgments and cognitive thinking style (Kühnen, Hannover, & Schubert, 2001) in a manner that facilitates goal attainment. In five studies, we tested the core assumptions of this model. As predicted we found gender differences in self-categorization, self-reported refusal behavior, semantic self-construal assessment, inclusion of others in the self-representation as well as in semantic free procedural tasks, suggesting that women become more interdependent and men more independent following the activation of a refusal-goal (Studies 1 - 4). Furthermore, we find evidence for the context-dependency of these effects (Study 4). Finally, Study 5 suggests that the observed gender differences can be accounted for by chronic differences in the goal systems of individuals. Implications for gender and cross-cultural research, assertiveness trainings in clinical and work settings, and goal-systems theory are discussed.

Download full text

Cite this publication

  • Export Bibtex
  • Export RIS

Citable URL (?):

Search for this publication

Search Google Scholar Search Catalog of German National Library Search OCLC WorldCat Search Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
Meta data
Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Amina Özelsel
Referee:Jens Förster, Ulrich Kühnen, Ronald Friedman
Advisor:Jens Förster
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:101:1-201305225892
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2006/05/12
Year of First Publication:2006
PhD Degree:Psychology
School:SHSS School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Library of Congress Classification:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / BF Psychology / BF501-505 Motivation
Call No:Thesis 2006/9

$Rev: 13581 $