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Evaluation and reinforcement: What do males and females really want to hear?

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This research was designed to note if males and females differ in their choices of the reinforcement and evaluation they assign to others. Thirty-one male and 31 female subjects viewed four videotapes of skilled and unskilled male and female speakers. Subjects assigned 10 of 40 statements varying in reinforcement value to each speaker and completed a five-item evaluation for each speech. Participants also completed a four-item measure to determine if they selected comments that they too would want to receive. Results indicated that males desire more positive reinforcement than females, although the two genders do not differ in their selection of evaluation. Also, subjects agreed that statements they selected were those they would find acceptable if applied to them.

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McMahan, C.R. Evaluation and reinforcement: What do males and females really want to hear?. Sex Roles 24, 771–783 (1991).

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  • Social Psychology
  • Female Subject
  • Positive Reinforcement
  • Female Speaker