Male as Normative Activity
This activity can be used to demonstrate that people see more similarity between members of a general category (e.g., a nationality) and men of that category than between members of the general category and women of that category.
In this activity, participants estimate the percentages of people who have a trait for members of the general category, the men in that category, and the women in that category. Eagly and Kite (1987) found that stereotypes of the men were more similar to stereotypes of the nationality than were stereotypes of the women.
This activity works well with groups of all sizes. For larger groups, break participants into groups of 5-8 to promote a more active discussion. After the small group discussion, the facilitator can lead discussion with the whole group.
Instructions and Materials Version One
For this version,individually complete the worksheet for only one social category (see Assigned Groups). They then note the traits that had the highest percentage. They compare their ratings with those of other participants. Figures from Eagly and Kite (1987) are provided for discussion.
For Version I of the activity, students individually complete the trait estimate worksheet (see Assigned Groups) for one social category. The social category they might be assigned ranges from “men” or “women” to more specific groups, reflecting both gender and nationality (e.g., “Italian women” or “American men;" see Assigned Groups document). They then note the traits that had the highest percentage rating. Students then move to groups to compare their ratings with those of other participants and to discuss topics such as whether Eagly and Kite’s (1987; figures enclosed) findings were replicated in this activity.
Instructions and Materials Version Two
Particpants individually rate the traits associated with the nationality, the men, and the women from several countries using the Trait Ratings Worksheet. Then, using the Top Five Traits Worksheet, they list the traits that had the highest percentage for each category. They then count the number of traits that overlap between the nationality and men of that nationality and the number of traits that overlap between the nationality and the women of that nationality. Working in groups, they answer the discussion questions. Figures from Eagly and Kite (1987) are provided for discussion.