Objectifying Sarah Palin: evidence that objectification causes women to be perceived as less competent and less fully human.

Heflick, Nathan A. and Goldenberg, Jamie L. (2009) Objectifying Sarah Palin: evidence that objectification causes women to be perceived as less competent and less fully human. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45 (3). pp. 598-601. ISSN 0022-1031

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2009.02.008

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Objectifying Sarah Palin: evidence that objectification causes women to be perceived as less competent and less fully human

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Abstract

Although a great deal of research has examined the effects of objectification on women’s self-perceptions
and behavior, empirical research has yet to address how objectifying a woman affects the way she is perceived
by others. We hypothesize that focusing on a woman’s appearance will promote reduced perceptions
of competence, and also, by virtue of construing the women as an ‘‘object”, perceptions of the
woman as less human. We found initial experimental evidence for these hypotheses as a function of
objectifying two targets – Sarah Palin and Angelina Jolie. In addition, focusing on Palin’s appearance
reduced intentions to vote for the McCain–Palin ticket (prior to the 2008 US Presidential election). We
discuss these findings in the context of the election and the objectification of women.

Keywords:objectification, voting behaviour, Sarah Paliin
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:18888
Deposited On:30 Sep 2015 14:55

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