Possible Powerful Selves of Undergraduate Students
2012 symposium presentation by:
Natisha Gomes
 Savannah Simpson
RU sponsor: Dr. Hilary Lips
Abstract.   Women continue to be underrepresented in politics and other high-ranking leadership positions in comparison to men. This study explored how participants perceived the positivity and possibility of their “possible selves” as persons with power and in three distinct roles (editor-in-chief of a national women's/men's fashion magazine, chief executive officer, and important political leader). The study also examined the extent to which female and male respondents anticipated relationship problems in connection with these powerful roles. The researchers predicted that women would describe more reservations with respect to anticipation of relationship problems and their imagined possible selves compared to men. The relationship problems were coded by the researchers. A chi-squared analysis revealed no significant effect of gender on anticipated relationship problems for any of the specific roles. However, when women imagined themselves in the person with power and editor-in-chief positions the results aligned with the predicted direction, with more women than men anticipating relationship problems. Another chi-squared analysis showed a significant gender difference in which roles were listed as most difficult or easy to imagine, with more men listing the editor-in-chief role as most difficult to imagine, and more women listing the political leader role as most difficult to imagine. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed that men were significantly more likely than women to rate both the political leader and CEO roles as both more possible for them and more positive.
Post Symposium Discussions
Program-2012   Keynote Speaker   Center for Gender Studies   Psychology   Women's Studies   English
last update: September 13th  2013             Radford University ~ Radford, Virginia            webpage: w.andrew