Three studies addressed the gender difference in the tendency to reflect upon self-descriptive traits and the consequences of engaging in such trait-reflection. In Study 1, women reported engaging in trait-reflection more than men did. In the pilot Study 2, low and high self-clarity women and men were randomly assigned either to reflect on self-descriptive traits or to a distraction condition. The expected clarity × condition × time interaction was significant for women, in the analyses that excluded individuals with extreme self-esteem scores. Reflecting on their own traits led low-clarity women to increase in clarity and high-clarity women to decrease in clarity. Men showed no change in self-clarity across condition. In Study 3, low- and high-clarity individuals were initially matched on self-esteem. Results of Study 2 were replicated. Findings are discussed in terms of gender differences in self-focused attention and the nature of self-clarity.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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