Sex Roles

, Volume 59, Issue 1–2, pp 14–20 | Cite as

Gender, Perceptions of Incentive Value, and Cardiovascular Response to a Performance Challenge

  • Brittney D. Frazier
  • Patricia Barreto
  • Rex A. Wright
Original Article


One hundred fifteen US undergraduates primarily of African and European heritage were presented an easy or difficult memory challenge and led to believe they could secure a traditionally feminine incentive by meeting it. As expected, heart rate responses during the work period were stronger under difficult- than easy conditions among women, but low under both difficulty conditions among men. Systolic- and diastolic blood pressure responses during the period were similar except that they were relatively elevated in men under both difficulty conditions. Findings support the suggestion that gender effects in studies of cardiovascular response to performance challenge may be partially understood in terms of effort processes occurring where men and women place different value on available performance incentives.


Gender Incentive value Cardiovascular response Effort Active coping 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brittney D. Frazier
    • 1
  • Patricia Barreto
    • 1
  • Rex A. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)BirminghamUSA

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