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This study evaluates levels of overconfidence with a series of mental imagery tasks while assessing various participant characteristics such as narcissism, or excessive self-admiration of one's own physical or mental capabilities. Participants where assigned to an experimental condition in which they received a bias concerning gender stereotypes, stating that men were superior to women in performing certain spatial tasks while women were more adept than men in completing verbal tasks. Participants in a control condition received instructions necessary to complete the tasks and similar to those given in the experimental condition; however, there was no mention of gender stereotypes. During the experiment, letters (F, L, and R) appeared on a computer screen either in a correct formation, as if typed in a word, or an incorrect formation as a mirror image of the correct formation. The letters were also presented at different rotated positions, such as upright, sideways, or upside down. After each image appeared, participants reported whether the letters were mirror images or in the correct formation, regardless of the rotation. Participants then gave an indication of their confidence in accurately identifying the presented formation of the letter. We predict that men in the experimental condition will express higher levels of confidence because of perceived superiority influenced by the stereotype information as compared to confidence expressed by men in the control condition. We further predict that women in the experimental condition will express lower levels of confidence because of perceived inferiority influenced by the stereotype information as compared to confidence expressed by women in the control condition. The expected results of this study will demonstrate a relationship between perceived gender biases and overconfidence and at least a temporary reduction in narcissism that may prevail in many learning environments, such as schools and universities.
Susan T. Davis
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
Barnas, Adam; Lynch, Dana S.; Moran, Joshua D.; and O'Grady, Cara M., "The Use of A Mental Rotation Task to Assess Narcissism and Gender Biases" (2012). Stander Symposium Posters. 120.