Matina Souretis Horner1939- (third from right)Ryan DuBoisJoe KennedyWoori Shin
OverviewBiographyHistorical AntecedenceProblems She FacedResearch and DiscoveriesStrengths and WeaknessesFollow-up studies and variationsNational Recognitions and Awards
History: Matina Horner1930 Thematic Apperception Test
1939-1945 World War II
July 28, 1939 Matina Horner born *Roxbury, Massachusetts *Greek Parents
History: Matina HornerBoston Public schools
Girls Latin School
History: Matina Horner1961 B.S. Cum laude Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania * Interested in Experimental Psychology * Studied Need Achievement * Married to Joseph L. Horner
History: Matina Horner1963 M.S. University of Michigan 1963 The Equal Pay Act 1963 The Feminist Movement 1964 Civil Rights Act 1965 National Organization for Women
History: Matina Horner1968 Ph.D University of Michigan * Research Assistant in Psyc Dept. * Lecturer in Social Relations Dept. * Conducted Research at University Womens motivation toward achievement 1969 Fear of Success
1969 the faculty of Harvard University * Lecturer in the Dept of Social Relations
History: Matina Horner1972-1989 President at Radcliffe College 1972 Equal Rights Amendment 1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments 1973 Roe v. Wade 1978 1st time in history Women > Men at College
ProblemsPresident at Radcliffe * complex Harvard-Radcliffe relationship * Admission PolicyA Freak Accident Stumbling blocks into stepping stones
Research and DiscoveriesBackground1953: John Atkinson and David McClelland use TAT techniques to isolate need for achievement as a distinct psychological characteristic However, over the course of the next ten years, little research was conducted on womens motivation to achieve the little that was produced conflicted or confusing results Only consistent finding was that women had significantly higher test anxiety scores than menThis clue, along with the lack of empirical evidence supporting traditional assumptions about womens intellectual capabilities, motivated Horner to investigate achievement motivation in women
Research and DiscoveriesTraditional Hypothesis: Womens lack of achievement in comparison to men related to differences in aggression
Freud: Femininity equated to the repression of aggressiveness, which is imposed upon women by their constitutions and by society.Storr: It is highly probable that the undoubted superiority of the male sex in intellectual and creative achievement is related to their greater endowment of aggressionThe hypothesis that women, if only given the opportunity and encouragement, would equal or surpass the creative achievements of men is hardly defensible.
Research and DiscoveriesHorner sought to test these assumptions. Horners hypothesis: Many women experience a fear of success which inhibits their ability to achieve. This fear is due to the anticipation of negative social or cultural consequences as a result of achievement. Women worry about social rejection or being perceived as unfeminine, deviant, or undesirable, which subsequently affects their behavior with regard to pursuit of achievement.
Research and Discoveries1964 Horners first experiments in womens motivationMethodology and Procedure:Recruited 88 female and 90 male students from the U. of MichiganAdministered standard TAT tests for measuring individual motivation to achieve, then asked participants to complete a fictional story about John or Anne, a student in medical school who is at the top of his/her class. Male subjects wrote about John, while females wrote about Anne.Purpose was to test for what Horner called negative success imagery and compare the frequency of occurrence in both groups
Research and DiscoveriesHorners categorization of negative success imagery:Negative consequences because of the successAnticipation of negative consequences resulting from the successNegative affect because of the successInstrumental activity away from present of future success, including leaving the field for more traditional female workAny direct expression of conflict about successDenial of effort in attaining the success (including cheatingDenial of the situation described by the cueBizarre, inappropriate, or nonadaptive responses to the situation described by the cue
Research and DiscoveriesResultsWhereas only 8% of the male subjects stories about John contained negative success imagery, 65% of the female subjects described Annes future in negative terms ConclusionMany women did indeed harbor fears of success due to apprehensions about negative cultural or social consequences
Research and Discoveries1968: Part II of Horners study (also conducted in 1964 with the same group of participants) is publishedSought to test for differences in performance between men and women in competitive versus non-competitive environmentsHorners hypothesis: Due to a motive to avoid success, women will perform better in non-competitive situations than in competitive ones, particularly if the opponent is male.
Research and DiscoveriesMethodology and Procedure:Horner put all the students together in a large competitive group and administered a series of tests (both verbal and arithmetic). She then randomly assigned the 88 men and 90 women into one of three other competitive conditions: same-sex competition, opposite-sex competition, or working alone, and performed the same test. She then compared the results of each subjects performance in the two different environments.
Research and DiscoveriesExamples of Testing Content
Research and DiscoveriesExamples,cont.
Research and DiscoveriesResults: The majority of men got better scores in competition than when alone. For the women, the opposite was true fewer than 1/3 got significantly higher scores in competition. However, the women who were low in FOS performed better in competition (93 percent), whereas women high in FOS performed better alone (77 percent).
Female Fear of Success & Performance in Test Condition 3 (Subject Works Alone)Better Performance AloneBetter Performance in Competition (Large Group)High FOS134Low FOS112
Research and DiscoveriesHorners Conclusion:These findings suggest that most women will fully explore their intellectual potential only when they do not need to compete and least of all when they are competing with men. This was most true of women with a strong anxiety about successwe can see from this small study that achievement motivation in women is much more complex than the same drive in men.
Strengths and WeaknessesStrengths of Horners FindingsA number of subsequent studies replicated her experiment and obtained the same resultsProvided an empirical base for discussion and research into womens achievement motivationUndermined sexist notions about the supposed inferiority of the female intellect, which were widespread but had a weak foundation of empirical evidenceUse of each subject as his/her own control in condition 3 of the competitive environment testing ensured that variations in individual ability did not skew the measurement of achievement motivation
Strengths and WeaknessesWeaknesses of Horners FindingsA number of subsequent studies did not support Horners findingsWhen the first experiment was re-done with all subjects instructed to write about both John and Anne, the tendencies were the same for both genders (men also wrote negatively about Anne, while women also wrote positively about John), leading some psychologists to argue that the subjects were merely reflecting the cultural stereotypes of their timeStudy of competitive environments did not take into account complex social dynamics (i.e. sexual attraction and its effect on behavior) when looking at mixed-gender competitionDavid Tresmer argued that Horner did not use the most appropriate methods of statistical analysis, and that the findings were not statistically significant when evaluated properly
Horners InfluenceFollow up Studies & VariationsOlsen & Willemsen (1978)Variation: Ann or John achieving success in a class of all males vs. class with half males and half femalesLooked for negative consequences regarding protagonists own feelings, other peoples views/opinions, and other outcomes both positive and negative (grades go down, elected class president, is mugged, wins boy or girl of their dreams, etc.) Found no evidence of fear of success as a personality trait Negative outcomes exist in the environmentNeed for analysis of cultural institutions instead of more John and Ann cues
Horners Influence (continued)Feather and Simon (1973)Anagram test followed by Horners cues for success storiesSubjects that wrote fear of success stories that passed the test rated external factors such as luck or test difficulty as less important causes of successSubjects that wrote fear of success stories that failed anagram test rated those same external factors as more important causes of failure.Results indicated that women wrote more fear of success stories than men, but Horners percentages were significantly different. (Women 65% vs. 35%; Men 9% vs. 25% )