Sex Roles

, Volume 12, Issue 3–4, pp 363–375 | Cite as

The influence of sex-role stereotypes on prose recall

  • Diane F. Halpern


The influence of sex-role stereotypes on memory was investigated. High-school students read a short story about a protagonist named either Linda or David. Results indicated that when the sex of the protagonist was the same as their own, the students answered significantly more questions about the story correctly than in the cross-sex conditions. A qualitative analysis of the kinds of errors and inferences made revealed that female subjects tended to rely on sex-role stereotypes when answering factual questions about a male protagonist, and male subjects tended to rely on sex-role stereotypes when answering inference questions about a female protagonist. These results provide partial support for the notion that individuals are more predisposed to view members of the opposite sex stereotypically and are more likely to alter their memories in accordance with these stereotypes than they are when answering questions about members of their same sex.


Qualitative Analysis Social Psychology Male Subject Female Subject Partial Support 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane F. Halpern
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversitySan Bernardino

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