The Impact of Distributive Systems and Gender on Perceptions of Social Relations 1

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A total of 120 male and female students were assigned to one of three distributive systems. After completing four tasks, subjects were shown a picture of a group and asked to write a story about the people and events in the picture. Judges then rated
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  The Impact of Distributive Systems andGender    on Perceptions of Social Relations 1 BRIAN L. MARUFFI I 2 Teachers College, Columbia University A total of 120 male and female students were assigned to one of three distributive systems After !om"leting four tas#s$ sub%e!ts were shown a  "i!ture of a grou" and as#ed to write a story about the "eo"le and events in the  "i!ture   &udges then rated the stories on four dimensions of so!ial relations 'he writ ten   res"onses of individuals wor#ing under variable bonus systems were ratedsignifi!antly more (!om"etitive$( (tas#)oriented$( (formal$( and (une*ual +in    "ower,( than those of sub%e!ts assigned to a flat)rate system  -tories written by   males were signifi!antly more !om"etitive than those of females .euts!h and his !o)wor#ers +.euts!h $ 1/$ 1/ $ 1/l 3 Mei$ 1/$ 1/1 3   Medvene$ 1/1 3 4en!# $ 1// $ 1/1 3 and 5iviani$ 1/1, have investigated the   im"a!t of differential reward systems on interde"enden!e$ motivation $ tas#    satisfa!tion and "erforman!e $ and attitudes for both individuals and grou"s   .euts!h (I /1, theori6ed t hat t he !ognitive$ motivational$ and moral orientations of individuals and grou"s would vary as a fun!tion of differen!es in distributive systems$ whi!h$ in turn$ eli!it distin!tive "atterns of so!ial interde"enden!e   7revious resear!h +4en!#$ 1/1, suggests that individuals wor#ing together    on a grou" tas# develo" similar modes of thought !hara!teristi! of t he ty"e of    interde"enden!e indu!ed by different distributive systems 4en!# hy"othesi6ed that sub%e!ts assigned to a  "a rti!ular reward system would demonstrate   !orres"ondingly different t ty"es of  "sy!hologi!al orientations in autobiogra"hi!al   s#et!hes As hy"othesi6ed $ sub%e!tsassigned to a winner)ta#e)all system wrote   autobiogra"hies that were rated by in de"endent %udges as signifi!antly more 1 'his resear!h !ould not have been "ossible without the su""ort of 7rofessor Morton.euts!h 'he author wishes to e8"ress his than#s for .r .euts!h9s hel"ful revisions andre!ommendations 'he statisti!al and methodologi!al advi!e of :rs 4illiam Bernstein$ Ariel;evi$ and Mar!ia Ni!hols were most a""re!iated Many than#s to Mar# 'rentelange and;ouis Medvene for their hel" in !olle!ting and "ro!essing the data 2 Re*uests for re"rints should be sent to Brian L. Maruffi$ .e"artment of -o!ial$:rgani6ationaland <ounseling 7sy!hology$ 'ea!hers <ollege$ <olumbia University$ New =or#$    N= 1002 46 Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1985, 15, 1,  "" 46-58. <o"yright > 1985  by ? . H. 4inston & -ons$ Inc. All rights reserved  DISTRIBUTIVE SYSTEMS & SOIAL RELATIO!S 4" (!om"etitive$( (une*ual +in "ower,$( and (tas#)oriented$( and signifi!antly less   (!oo"erative( than t hose of sub%e!ts assigned to an e*uality system 'here wereno signifi!ant differen!es on three other dimensions@ (formal$( (informal$( or    (!oo"erative('he "resent study has two ma%or ob%e!tives@ (I# 'o determine t he effe!t of three different reward distribution systems on    "sy!hologi!al orientation under !onditions of minimal or absent so!ial interde"enden!e +2, 'o identify the effe!t of gender on relationshi"s between distributive systems and "sy!hologi!al orientation 'he hy"otheses and methodology of the "resent study were very similar to those   re"orted by 4en!# +1/1, 'his study differs$ however $ in (I# its !on!ern with   determining the relationshi" between distributive systems and "sy!hologi!al   orientations of individuals wor#ing alone rather than grou"s wor#ing together3+2, the fa!t that a "ro%e!tive "i!ture was used to measure "sy!hologi!al orientation 3 and +, both male and female sub%e!ts were used to investigate whether or    not gender had an im"a!t on "sy!hologi!al orientation as e8"ressed through   storiesAs 4en!#9s study had demonstrated$ the different "er!e"tions of interde"enden!e and (modes of thin#ing( asso!iated with different reward systemswere hy"othesi6ed to be related to differen!es in the ty"es of fantasies and  "er!e"tions re"orted by sub%e!ts assigned to the varied systems In addition$ it was   hy"othesi6ed that !ulturally determined differen!es t hat develo" as a result of    se8)role so!iali6ation will differentially affe!t male and female res"onses to different reward systems3 therefore$ differen!es were e8"e!ted in the fantasies re"orted by male and female sub%e!ts  Distributive Systems and Psychological Orientation a!h of the four hy"otheses stated below indi!ates the ty"e of relationshi"   e8"e!ted from this investigation .euts!h (I /1, theori6ed that individuals and grou"s wor#ing under systemsthat distribute rewards in "ro"ortion to how well the tas# is "erformed would be   more (tas#)0riented( than those assigned to a system in whi!h "eo"le are "aid   e*ually -imilarly$ 4en!# (I //$ 1/1, hy"othesi6ed that individuals wor#ing in   grou"s under a "ro"ortionality)based reward distribution system develo"ed an   (e!onomi! orientation( !hara!teristi! of their "er!e"tions of interde"enden!e   In the "resent study$ $% was hy"othesi6ed that individuals assigned to a  "ro"ortionality)based system would have a more (e!onomi!( orientation and therefore   !ould be e8"e!ted to write more (tas#)0riented( "ro%e!tive stories than individuals assigned to other reward systems  C BR I A N ; MA R U FF I  Hypothesis /: Stories ritten by sub!ects assigned to the proportionality"based  system ill be rated signi#icant more $tas%"oriented$ than stories ritten by    sub!ects assigned to th #lat"rate and high"lo systems& .euts!h +1/$ 1/$ 1/$ and 1/1, theori6ed that individuals and grou"s   wor#ing under a (winner)ta#e)all( system would be more !om"etitive and   hostile$ less trusting of others$ and more oriented toward ta#ing ris#s In !on   t rats$ individuals wor#ing under "romotively interde"endent distributive systems   +ie$ e*uality, would be more !oo"erative and friendly and trusting of others   4en!# +1//$ 1/1, !orre!tly hy"othesi6ed that grou"s wor#ing together under    a(winner)ta#e)all( system would !hara!teri6e themselves as (im"ulsive$( (aggressive$( (distrustful$D and Eris#)ta#ing( In the "resent study$ the hy"othesis that sub%e!ts assigned to a high)low sys   tem would have more (!om"etitive( fantasies than those assigned to a flat)rate   system was tested  Hypothesis '': Stories ritten by sub!ects or%ing under a high"lo bonus sys   tem ould be signi#icantly more competitive than those assigned to a #lat"rate   bonus system& .euts!h +1/1, and 4en!# +1//$ 1/1, theori6ed that individuals wor#ing   under a "ro"ortionality)based distributive system would develo" (rule)oriented$(or formal modes of thought <onsistent with this theory$ it was hy"othesi6ed   that the !ontent of "ro%e!tive fantasies would be signifi!antly more formal for    individuals wor#ing under a "ro"ortionality)based reward system as !om"ared   with those assigned to the two other distributive systems  Hypothesis ''': Stories ritten by sub!ects or%ing under a proportionality   based bonus system ill be more #ormal than stories o# individuals assigned to   the  #lat"rate system .euts!h +1/1, and 4en!# +1/1, hy"othesi6ed that individuals wor#ing under a (winner)ta#e)all( system would "er!eive others as being une*ual in    "ower and dissimilar to them <onsistent with this hy"othesis$ individuals wor#ing under an e*uality) or e*ual)distribution system would behave more   demo!rati!ally$ "er!eiving others wor#ing with them as more similar and e*ual   to themselves  Hypothesis (): Stories ritten by individuals assigned to a high"lo bonus sys   tem ould characteri*e other people as more une+ual than those o# individuals assigned to a #lat"rate bonus system&  DISTRIBUTIVE SYSTEMS & SOIAL RELATIO!S C/ ender and Perceived Dimensions o# Social -elations 'he se!ond aim of our study was to e8amine the role of gender as an intervening variable for individual rea!tions to dis!rete distributive systems 'he   ma%or !on!ern was whether males and females ado"t similar or different ty"es   of "sy!hologi!al orientations in res"onse to these systems 'raditionally$ women have been stereoty"ed as being more !oo"erative and so!io)emotional than menMore s"e!ifi!ally$ re!ent eviden!e suggests that gender influen!es reward system    "referen!e -everal resear!hers have re"orted that females "refer e*uality over e*uity as   a basis for allo!ating rewards +Blumstein & 4einstein$ 1//3 ;ane & Meese$   1/13 Mi#ula$ 1/C3 and 4ahba$ 1/2, <allahan);evy and Meese +1//, argue   that males have a strong$ !ulturally determined "referen!e for e*uity be!ause   they are so!iali6ed to asso!iate rewards for "erforman!e with self)worth I& this   assum"tion is !orre!t$ it !ould be hy"othesi6ed t hat males might be more (!om"etitively( oriented than femalt1s$ and that t his orientationwould be "rimarily   determined by a need to "reserve (self)worth( rather than to "reserve the a!tual   amount that !ould be earned under any of the distributive systems <onsistent   with this reasoning$ stories written by males were  "redi!ted to be more (!om"etitive( than those by females3 and this  "henomenon would be e8hibited under    ea!h of the three distributive systems  No signifi!ant differen!es on any of the   other three dimensions were e8"e!ted  Hypothesis ): The content o# stories ritten by males ould be more $competitive$ than those by #emales across all three distributive systems& Sub!ects Method A total of 120 <olumbia University students +0 males and 0 females, were   re!ruited to "arti!i"ate in a "sy!hologi!al study of ("rodu!tivity( -ub%e!ts   were guaranteed a minimum "ayment of GC00 and told that $% might be "ossible   to re!eive as mu!h as G00 more as a bonus -ub%e!ts ranged in age from 1/ to    years$ with a mean of 2 -ub%e!ts were led by one of four e8"erimenters to a si8 by nine foot e8"erimental !ubi!le a!h !ubi!le !ontained a large$ one)way mirror and a loud   s"ea#er -ub%e!ts were given ta"e)re!orded instru!tions over t he louds"ea#er Tas%s Four e8"erimental tas#s used in "revious studies +Mei$ 1/3 5iviani$ 1/1,   were !om"leted by all sub%e!ts  10 BRIA! L. MARU''I &ellybean estimation@ -ub%e!ts were as#ed to estimate the number of %ellybean s   in a sealed %ar.e!oding@ -ub%e!ts were as#ed to translate sets of numbers into words using a .i!tionary)!odeboo# <ard sorting@ -ub%e!ts were as#ed to sort "laying !ards into "iles that summed to   a s"e!ified value or !ontained a variety of suitsModel re"li!ation@ -ub%e!ts were as#ed to !o"y a design on a grid using !olored   dots-ub%e!ts were then given a ("ro%e!tive( "i!ture of three "eo"le sitting in a   grou" After they e8amined t he "i!ture for 0 se!onds$ t hey were as#ed to write   a story des!ribing the situation$ events$ and !hara!ters in the "i!ture 'his tas#    was used to measure the de"endent variables  Procedure Overvie& 'hree distributive systems were o"erationali6ed An e*ual n umber of sub%e!ts was assigned to ea!h of t he three distributive systems In addition t othe initial "ayment of GC00 for "arti!i"ating in the e8"eriment$ some sub%e!tswere told they !ould earn as mu!h as G00 more as a bonus de"ending u"onindividual "erforman!e and the re ward distribution in ea!h system After !om"leting several e8"erimental tas#s +des!ribed above, sub%e!ts were as#ed towrite   a story in res"onse to a "ro%e!tive "i!ture  'ndependent variables& -ub%e!ts were randomly assigned to one of threedistributive systems@  High".o system& -ub%e!ts were told they !ould obtain t he ma8imum bonus of G00 if they s!ore d at or above a given s!ore on all four tas#s or n o bonus "ayment if they s!ored below t hat level  Proportionality system& -ub%e!ts were told that t hey would obtain bonus  "ayments   in "ro"ortion to their overall "erforman!e s!ore on all four tas#s 'he greater their individual s!ore$ the higher t he bonus "ayment +Bonus "ayments ranged   from G200 to G00 in in!rements of G200,  /lat"-ate system& -ub%e!ts were told they would re!eive the same amount of    money +GC00H as all other sub%e!ts wor#ing under this system and that the individual s!ore would not influen!e t he amount of t he bonus obtained 'he study   em"loyed a  +distributive systems, by 2 +gender, fa!torial design  Dependent variables& 'he de"endent variables were ratings of stories written by   sub%e!ts wor#ing u under one of the three distributive systems -tories were !ontent analy6ed using a te!hni*ue des!ribed by <artwright +1/, -tatements   written by ea!h sub%e!t were "la!ed on  by  in!h inde8 !ards 'he statements
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