DIFFERENTIATION OF FEAR OF SUCCESS FROM FEAR OF GENDER-ROLE INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR IN FEMALES (ACHIEVEMENT, TRADITIONALISM)

KENNETH ROBERT KIRSHBAUM, Fordham University

Abstract

This research was designed to determine the extent to which achievement conflicts in females relate to a general fear of success (FOS) and the extent to which they relate to a more specific fear of gender-role inappropriate behavior. An attempt was made to demonstrate experimentally the existence of both types of fear.^ FOS was conceptualized as a relatively personal and irrational belief that the consequence of any successful achievement would be negative. It was proposed that those high in FOS would show an increase in anxiety and decrease in performance in the face of successful achievement. Fear of gender-role inappropriate behavior was viewed as a relatively social and rational belief that the consequences of performance in a traditionally masculine sphere would be negative. It was proposed that those high in traditionalism would show an increase in anxiety and a decrease in performance in the face of a masculinely labeled task.^ The research study was presented to subjects as a standardization procedure for a new test. A state anxiety measure and a word test were administered at baseline. An abbreviated Fear of Success Questionnaire and the Attitudes Toward Women Scale were combined with other items and administered. Subjects were then randomly assigned to either a nontraditional (masculine) or success feedback condition. A second anxiety scale and equivalent word test were administered. A post-experimental questionnaire was given.^ Results did not confirm predictions. Although more traditional females showed an increase in anxiety on the non-traditional task, results were not statistically significant. In the success feedback condition more success-fearing females did not show a greater decrease in performance or increase in anxiety than less success-fearing subjects, although the partial correlations were in the predicted direction. Nonsignificant results may have been due to inadequate arousal techniques. Failure to believe the experimental manipulation may in part have accounted for the nonsignificant findings.^ The question of the differentiation between FOS and fear of gender-role inappropriate behavior could not be approached experimentally. An alternate approach involved a correlational analysis. A statistically significant relationship between FOS and traditionalism was obtained. The meaning of the relationship was discussed and further investigation was suggested. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

KIRSHBAUM, KENNETH ROBERT, "DIFFERENTIATION OF FEAR OF SUCCESS FROM FEAR OF GENDER-ROLE INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR IN FEMALES (ACHIEVEMENT, TRADITIONALISM)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8506342.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8506342

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