Gender and the Aggressive or Compassionate President: An Analysis of Electability for Presidential Candidates
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This two part study explored the effects of gender and gender related descriptions on the evaluation of a Presidential candidate. In the first study, participants evaluated sentence descriptions of Presidential candidates. From the first study five sentences were selected that did not influence the participants decision to vote for that candidate, as well as one "compassionate" sentence and one "aggressive" sentence. These sentences were used to construct paragraph descriptions used in the second study. These paragraph descriptions manipulated candidate gender, and aggressive, compassionate, or neutral descriptions to test the effects of these variables on the decision to vote for the candidate, as well as the ratings of effectiveness on selected Presidential duties. While the data supported the decline of gender stereotyping in the evaluation of effectiveness on Presidential duties, a significant interaction for candidate gender and candidate description for the preferred type of President was found. The male compassionate President candidate was most preferred while the female compassionate President was least preferred.