Both the classical and contemporary experiments explore the ways in which the personal and situational aspects of gender roles can affect peoples’ attitudes about how they view themselves within their gender and their perception of their own futures as women. Both support the theories that implicit stereotype models have a profound effect on the person. The Geis experiment dealt with the relationship of gender to constant exposure to advertising. This study hypothesized that the typical cultural depiction of women being subservient to men and their striving only to please men in order to obtain contentment, has led to a society in which women would have depressed career aspirations relative to those who had not been exposed to this cultural message. A dual process model is apparent, as the advertisements contained an explicit, obvious message that sells the product as well as a more implicit and passive message that women strive to please men instead of themselves. When these roles were reversed career aspirations went up significantly, showing that this latent message indeed affected women. This can be seen as behavioral confirmation. The women used personal and controlled cognitive processes to imagine their futures, but the automatic processes experienced in the priming heavily influenced them as well. Because the advertisements can influence women into believing a stereotype in which they are primarily homemakers who service men through domestic and sexual roles, this is confirmed by women in the form of lowered achievement ambitions, which creates a self fulfilling prophecy that adheres to expectations.
The Rudman and Phelan experiment continues in the same tradition as the Geis experiment. They hypothesized that the same social messages would lead to less ambitions of obtaining power and status, but this study differed in that it also looked into the effect that powerful career role models had on women. While the findings of the classic study were...
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