, Volume 61, Issue 3-4, pp 252-264

Men’s Interpersonal (mis)Perception: Fitting in with Gender Norms Following Social Rejection

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Abstract

Interpersonal perception (IP) is useful for meeting affiliation needs, but what if IP skills are derogated by those one wishes to affiliate with? We tested the effects of affiliation motivation on IP in predominately Caucasian men. Participants were mainly U.S. undergraduates from the intermountain west. We expected that following rejection, IP performance would vary depending on the skill’s gender appropriateness. Study 1 (N = 69) found men who recounted an in-group rejection performed better on a masculine-framed IP test. Study 2 (N = 102) extended findings to empathic accuracy, demonstrating that rejection influenced IP as a function of the gender norms of an in-group member. The role of affiliation motivation and gender norms in the development and maintenance of men’s nonverbal skills is discussed.