Experimenter sex effects in behavioral research

Donna K. Rumenik, Deborah R. Capasso, Clyde Hendrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Psychological studies concerned with the possible differential effects of sex of experimenter (E) on S behavior are examined and summarized. The areas surveyed include task performance (for children as well as adult Ss), clinical and psychological testing, social and person perception, and role relationships (e.g., counselor-client, teacher-student, interviewer-respondent). The evidence is mixed, but there are indications that sex of the E is a potent variable, especially in task performance studies with children and in some types of person perception research. Much of the previous research is inadequate methodologically; for example, about one-third of the studies used only 1 individual of each sex for the manipulation of E's sex. The strong possibility of E sex effects poses a general problem of internal and external validity for psychological research. Sex of E (and of Ss) should be varied routinely in most studies. The added expense may be more than offset by greater precision and knowledge of the degree of generalizability of the obtained data. (91 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-877
Number of pages26
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • differential effects of E sex in behavioral research, review of studies of task performance & testing & social perception & role relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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