Oppositional identities: Dissimilarities in how women and men experience parent versus professional roles.

Abstract As stereotypes of social groups undergo change, group members gain access to previously denied social and cultural roles. Although such access is desirable, to the extent that the behavior, traits, and attitudes required to succeed in a new role are in opposition to those required to do well in a still-valued old role, conflict in the self-concept may ensue. Specifically, the individual must necessarily fall short in social comparisons of the self to the ideal group member in 1 or both roles, threatening self-integrity. Examining the specific case of oppositional identities between career and mom roles, we argue that women respond to this conflict by shifting back and forth between activation of whichever identity is relevant in a given situational context in a way that men do not. This shifting of self-associations is hypothesized to deplete scarce cognitive resources, interfering with performance on a task that requires executive function capacity. In addition, to the extent the identities are viewed as trading off against one another, failure in 1 domain may be responded to by activating the alternate identity in an effort to restore self-integrity, again in a way that is not true for men. These hypotheses are explored across 4 studies, utilizing both college students in the midst of formulating—and working parents in the midst of negotiating—these identities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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实验社会心理学的研究进展

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