Why Bother?: The Nature of Women’s Implicit Theories About the Malleability of Men’s Attitudes

Open Access
Pearson, Nicholas Benjamin
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
April 05, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Marylee Carmel Taylor, Committee Member
  • Karen Gasper, Committee Member
  • Theresa K Vescio, Committee Member
  • Janet Swim, Committee Chair
  • implicit theories
  • sexism
  • confronting
Four studies are presented that examine the influence of women’s beliefs about the changeability of men’s sexist attitudes. Study 1 explores the construct validity of a new measure of implicit attitudes that has been specifically designed to measure women’s beliefs about sexism. Study 2 measures women’s individual differences in implicit attitudes about sexist men, and demonstrates that women who see men as more changeable are more likely to endorse confronting behavior. Study 3 shows that implicit attitudes can be manipulated, and Study 4 extends the findings from the previous survey study into a high impact setting. Consistent with the author’s predictions, women who see men’s sexist attitudes as more changeable are more likely to confront sexism.