Strategies to increase the use and approval of gender-fair language

Köser, Sara; Sczesny, Sabine (14 June 2013). Strategies to increase the use and approval of gender-fair language (Unpublished). In: Final Conference of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network Language, Cognition, and Gender (ITN LCG). Bern, Schweiz. 13.06.-17.06.2013.

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When masculine forms are used to refer to men and women, this causes male-biased cognitive representations and behavioral consequences, as numerous studies have shown. This effect can be avoided or reduced with the help of gender-fair language. In this talk, we will present different approaches that aim at influencing people’s use of and attitudes towards gender-fair language.
Firstly, we tested the influence of gender-fair input on people’s own use of gender-fair language. Based on Irmen and Linner’s (2005) adaptation of the scenario mapping and focus approach (Sanford & Garrod, 1998), we found that after reading a text with gender-fair forms women produced more gender-fair forms than women who read gender-neutral texts or texts containing masculine generics. Men were not affected.
Secondly, we examined reactions to arguments which followed the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty &Cacioppo, 1986). We assumed that strong pros and cons would be more effective than weak arguments or control statements. The results indicated that strong pros could convince some, but not all participants, suggesting a complex interplay of diverse factors in reaction to attempts at persuasion. The influence of people’s initial characteristics will be discussed.
Currently, we are investigating how self-generated refutations, in addition to arguments, may influence initial attitudes. Based on the resistance appraisal hypothesis (Tormala, 2008), we assume that individuals are encouraged in their initial attitude if they manage to refute strong counter-arguments.
The results of our studies will be discussed regarding their practical implications.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Köser, Sara and Sczesny, Sabine


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Irène Gonce-Gyr

Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2014 09:52

Last Modified:

20 Nov 2014 09:52


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