Examines the hypothesis that women are more influenceable than men in a variety of situations. For persuasion research and for conformity studies not involving group pressure, there is scant empirical support for a sex difference, and for group pressure conformity research, there is support among a substantial minority of studies. Also explored is the possibility that various sex differences in social influence studies are a product of contextual features of experimental settings. This is suggested by the fact that findings reporting greater influenceability among females were more prevalent in studies published prior to 1970 than in those published in the 1970s. Finally, sex differences in various psychological processes that may mediate persuasion and conformity are evaluated as possible explanations for those influenceability sex differences that appear to be genuine. It is suggested that a propensity to yield inherent in the female sex role appears to account for some aspects of influenceability findings, but a 2nd explanation, a tendency for women more than men to be oriented to interpersonal goals in group settings, is also plausible. (71/2 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
- sex differences, influenceability, literature review
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