Student Research Projects

Working Women: When being qualified isn’t enough.

Student Andrea Medrano
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course Independent Research in Psychology


Gender ideologies in the United States includes the belief that women are more caring, physically weaker, and more nurturing than men. As a result, certain roles in society are generally deemed as better suited for women (e.g. nurse) while others are best suited for men (e.g. corrections officer). The present research examines people’s evaluations of women who abide by or defect from stereotypical female roles. Participants examined one female applicant and were asked to complete an evaluation, ultimately deciding whether they were willing to hire her as a corrections officer. The original project examined a number of potential factors that may influence participants’ evaluations of multiple female applicants. The presentation will focus specifically on participants’ decision to hire a female applicant who abides by the stereotypical female role. In discussing results, system justification theory is introduced as a possible explanation for the findings.