Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Marketing technique: Activating gender stereotypes just to knock 'em down

13.02.2013
In certain circles, such as publishing, it has been well-documented that female authors have taken male pen names to attract a larger audience and/or get their book published. But should marketers actually highlight gender and activate stereotypes to sell more products?

A new study by USC Marshall Professor Valerie Folkes and Ohio State University Professor Shashi Matta looks at the issue of product perception of consumers through the lens of gender stereotypes.

The researchers conclude that while traditional gender stereotypes can still have a significant influence on consumer behavior in the 21st century, there are ways that firms can activate these stereotypes solely to transcend them.

In the study "When a product takes on characteristics of the person who created it: Sometimes it sounds sweeter" published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Folkes and Matta used the world of classical music as a way to understand consumer behavior and its ties to gender stereotypes. They asked undergraduates as well as classical music audiences to evaluate the music of male and female conductors.

Students were prompted with the knowledge that one conductor was male and the other was female. When initially asked to characterize the music of the male conductor, participants in the study described the music as powerful. When asked to assess the music of the female conductor, they judged her music to be more delicate, less powerful and of worse quality than the male conductor.

However, Folkes and Matta conducted an additional experiment in which participants were given additional but critical information about the quality and competence of the female conductor before they listened to the music. With this information in hand, the participants judged the female conductor's music as simultaneously both powerful and delicate—attributes that might normally be in opposition. Given this contradiction and complexity, the consumers also affirmed the quality of the music and turned the music's "delicacy" as a positive versus a possible negative attribute.

"When we gave the participants additional information about the source, the woman conductor was perceived more positively," said Folkes. This is an important message for firms—promoting product sources—even if revealing the gender of these sources makes consumers retrieve stereotypical attributes, can influence the consumer experience, perception and behavior in a positive way—as long as marketers are stressing the competency of the maker at the same time.

Folkes and Matta provide compelling information for marketers: "Gender provides an opportunity for differentiation not only because many domains are gender-typed but also because it is associated with many product attributes." By stressing competence and quality, it has the possibility, Folkes indicated, of first transcending any negative stereotypes, showcasing human complexity and rendering the product more appealing.

For example, compared to when the source is a man, consumers may experience a female director's action film as having more of a romantic subplot, may taste a female chef's hearty barbecue and sense sweeter undertones and may consider a female apparel designer's outdoor gear to be both tough and stylish.

Amy Blumenthal | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.marshall.usc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>