Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Research investigating interpersonal outcomes resulting from confrontation of bias shows mixed results. Some studies show that men expect to react harshly when imagining confrontation (Saunders & Senn, 2009), whereas other research finds that men often react well when actually confronted (Mallett & Wagner, 2011). The current studies investigated this inconsistency by exploring the role of men's interaction goals on men's goal-directed compensation and interpersonal outcomes following confrontation. In Study 1, I measured accessibility of three goals (liking, respect, egalitarian) after men either imagined or experienced confrontation for sexist or uninformed behavior (gender-neutral). An egalitarian goal was the most accessible goal when men experienced confrontation for sexism, supporting the idea that actual confrontation leads to other-focus. Further supporting the assertion that general and imagined threats lead to self-focus (Crocker, 2008), a respect goal was uniquely accessible when men imagined gender-neutral confrontation. In Study 2, men were primed with either an other-oriented liking goal or a self-oriented respect goal. I then observed men's self-promoting or ingratiating compensation following confrontation for sexism or uninformed behavior by a female interaction partner. Confrontation for sexism elicited immediate ingratiation from men, but neither confrontation affected self-promotion. Men's ingratiation also mediated the relation between liking goal pursuit and positive interpersonal outcomes. Together, these studies enhance our understanding of men's responses to confrontation.

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