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 Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

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: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>