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Fear of success in males and females in sex-linked occupations

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Two experiments were reported which examined “fear of success” imagery in men and women in response to three sex-linked occupations. The occupations were engineer, child psychologist, and nurse. Both experiments found clear differences for perceived male dominance. It was also found that engineer and child psychologist did not differ in terms of perceived status, while nurse was significantly lower than the other two occupations. With regard to fear of success imagery the results of both studies indicated an interaction effect for sex of subject and occupations. Males exhibited the most fear of success imagery to the nurse cue, while females exhibited the most to the engineer cue. It was concluded that male dominance of occupations was an important factor in relation to fear of success imagery.

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Correspondence to Louis H. Janda.

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Janda, L.H., O'Grady, K.E. & Capps, C.F. Fear of success in males and females in sex-linked occupations. Sex Roles 4, 43–50 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288375

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  • Interaction Effect
  • Social Psychology
  • Child Psychologist
  • Male Dominance
  • Success Imagery