NCBI ROFL: Impressions of people with gender-ambiguous male or female first names.

By ncbi rofl | May 9, 2011 7:00 pm

“Undergraduates (12 men, 12 women) read a scenario in which they formed an impression of nine people who had left their first name on an answering machine. Participants rated the extent to which seven characteristics (Ethical, Caring, Popular, Cheerful, Successful, Masculine, Feminine) applied to people whose first names were gender-ambiguous (e.g., Chris), male (e.g., Ken) or female (e.g., Pam). People with gender-ambiguous names were rated less Ethical than those with female names, and people with gender-ambiguous names and male names were rated less Caring, less Cheerful, and less Feminine than those with female names. These results are consistent with the idea that there is a bias towards assuming that a person of unspecified sex is a male.”

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: What’s in a name? Part I: U.G.H. you’re going to D.I.E.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: What’s in a name? Part II: Why Kevin Kouzmanoff strikes out so much.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: What’s in a name? Part III: Why Dennis is a dentist.

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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