Emily Keener, as a Graduate Student at Radford University
Identifying Gender Neutral
Tasks and Incentives
An RU Undergraduate/Graduate Forum
A 2005 Presentation By
Emily J. Keener *
Dawn E. Joyce
Dawn Joyce, Undergraduate Student
  *In 2012, Dr. Emily Keener is teaching in the Department
    of Psychology at Silver Rock University
The purpose of the Investigation
is to identify gender neutral tasks and
incentives for use in experimental research.

_Often in experimental designs researchers are trying to identify cause and effect relationships.
_In these situations it is important to keep confounding variables to a minimum.
_Confounding variables confuse the interpretation of results.
_Researchers do not want the experimental situation to have different effects on different people.
    For example, it is common for researchers to have participants perform a task that is not necessarily of interest.
   They would not want this task to have an effect on what they are measuring.
   This research came out of the need to create a task that would not have a different effect on males and females.

   What is considered to be masculine and feminine changes over time. Therefore, further investigation is needed to identify a gender neutral task and incentives.
The purpose of an incentive is to motivate people to take on a task or job that they otherwise would not chose to do. When using incentives as manipulations you must take the same care in selecting an incentive as you would in identifying a gender neutral task.

Participants were 173 undergraduate college
students who were given course credit for their participation. 93 were females, and 80 were males.
Participants’ ages ranged from 18-28 (93.1% ranged from 18-21).
Participants were asked
to complete a demographic questionnaire.
Next, they were asked to
rate the enjoyment of a
list of tasks and to rank
a list of incentives.
A task would be considered gender neutral if it met three criteria:
1) The task could not be rated as significantly different on levels of enjoyment for males and females.
2) The task could not be chosen more often (more than 5 times) by either sex as the task most enjoyed.
3) The task could not be chosen more often (more than 5 times) by either sex as the task that males and females would enjoy equally.
    Neutral Task Enjoyment
Evaluating drug ads in a magazine.
Evaluating general psychology text books.
Arranging dominoes in a certain pattern.
Searching the internet.  Playing trivial pursuit.
Playing pick up sticks.  Playing Jenga.
Doing a crossword puzzle.

    Gender Neutral Tasks
Arranging dominoes.  Playing pick up sticks.
Evaluating drug ads.  Evaluating psychology textbooks.  Doing crossword puzzles
    Top Gender Neutral Incentives
Chance to win cash or a cash equivalent such
as a gas card.

Only 5 out of the 15 tasks met the three criterion to be considered gender neutral:
   Arranging dominoes
   Playing pick up sticks
   Evaluating drug ads
   Evaluating psychology
   Doing crossword puzzles.
Any of these options could be used in a situation where a gender neutral task is needed.
Dr. Hilary Lips
 Information & Refercence Sources: contact Emily Keener or Dawn Joyce Dr. Hilary Lips,
   Please contact: >>>
   for further details
   regarding this
2012 Contact update for:
Emily J. Keener, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology
Slippery Rock University Email: emily.keener@sru.edu
Tel: 1-724-738-9000 x2529
Dawn E. Joyce
Undergraduate Student
Department of Psychology
Radford University, Radford
VA 24142
Email: djoyce@radford.edu
Tel: 1-540-831-5361
Professor & Chair
Radford University, Radford, VA 24142
Email: hlips@radford.edu
Tel: 1-540-831-5387
Center for Gender Studies Related Links
 Gender Pay Gap: mw-2011    Gender Pay Gap: lvc-2011    Gender Pay Gap: ru-2012
We Can Do It: Images from the 1940s

Gender Neutral Tasks-A Preliminary Study      Center Projects On-line
Gender Studies Home Psychology Radford University
Created by:  W. Andrew  &  H. Lips  Last updated: November 3rd  2022 ©2004 H. Lips & W. Andrew