Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 481–496 | Cite as

Gender Differences in Being Thanked for Performing a Favor

  • Albert N. KatzEmail author
  • Jonathan A. R. Woodbury


We examined gender differences in how one responds to being thanked for a favor. Using experimental passages, we manipulated who requested the favor and the manner in which the favor is asked. Male and female participants received a set of scenarios in which social status, gender and directness of the request were orthogonally varied. Although male and female participants had very similar perceptions of whether the favor was a command or not, male but not female participants, generated more accommodating and fewer non-accommodating acknowledgments when thanked. The effect was strongest when the request was made by a boss (relative to a peer), especially if the boss was male, and made the request in a direct manner. These data are consistent with the notion that, for males, more than so for females, interactions that make salient one’s dominance status is relevant to gender-identity, and is linguistically reflected in a basic social exchange.


Social exchange language Gendered language Social hierarchies Expressions of gratitude acknowledgment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.PetFocus Woodbury Veterinary HospitalHaliaxCanada

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