Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Heather Terrell

Abstract

Female candidates are at a disadvantage in the political sphere, facing underrepresentation and stereotype hurdles at all levels of elected office. While female candidates have overcome some of these obstacles and won elections at the state and local levels, there has never been a female candidate elected President. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether female and male candidates are judged differently on measures of competence, warmth, traits, and willingness to vote. Employing a 2 (candidate gender) x 2 (participant gender) x 2 (candidate party) manipulation, 370 participants read a fictitious article about Presidential candidates and rated them on various factors. Factorial ANOVAs revealed no significant main or interaction effects. While the current study does not provide evidence for judgment differences in male and female candidates, historical United States election results oppose these findings, calling into question the data quality and manipulation strength of the current study.

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