All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Virginia Wadley

Advisory Committee Members

Olivio Clay

Michael Sloan

Patricia Drentea

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Participants were presented an impossible or moderately difficult mental addition task; half of them were led to believe that they could win a traditionally masculine incentive by meeting a certain performance standard and half of them were led to believe that they could win a traditionally feminine incentive if they met the same performance standard. In the feminine incentive group, Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) during the work period was stronger under difficult than impossible conditions among women, but low under both difficulty conditions among men. In the masculine incentive group, blood pressure measures (SBP, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure) were higher in the moderately difficult condition than in the impossible condition, regardless of gender. Findings support a conceptual analysis based on motivation intensity theory which suggests that gender differences in cardiovascular response could be partially understood in terms of effort processes that occur where men and women place different value on available performance incentives.

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