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The relation between submissiveness and dominance of a female experimenter and female and male pain thresholds, depending on their gender role identification.


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Matijaš, Sanja. (2018). The relation between submissiveness and dominance of a female experimenter and female and male pain thresholds, depending on their gender role identification.. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Psychology. [mentor Ivanec, Dragutin].

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The aim of this study was to examine how the experimenter and participants relation, which can implicitly be explained as a relation between spatial dominance and submissiveness, can affect the size of pain threshold for a mechanical pressure. Therefore 122 participants were included in this study and randomly classified into two experimental situations. In one experimental situation the experimenter was placed in a higher spatial position in relation to the participant (she was standing on her legs with an open body posture while the participant was sitting on the chair – the participant is submissive) while the second experimental situation was reversed (the participant was sitting on the same chair while the experimenter on the lower one – the participant is dominant). In both situations the same experimenter was measuring the pain threshold for a mechanical pressure on the fingers of both hands. In order to get the data on genderbased identification, participants filled out the Bem – Sex Role Inventory questionnaire (BSRI). Based on their results, participants were divided into three groups: masculine man, feminine women and low-identifying. The results showed that there is a clear and statistically significant relation in the size of the pain threshold between the two experimental situations. When the participants were dominant, their pain threshold was higher. Gender differences were also analysed. In both situations men have a higher threshold of pain. The interaction between participants gender identification and dominance was not statistically significant. All groups had a higher pain threshold when dominant, and the only statistically significant difference related to gender roles is the one between masculine male and feminine female – masculine men have higher pain threshold than feminine women. The results indicate that the subtle manipulation with the impression of physical dominance and submissiveness in the experimenter and participant relation can be a factor of significant modulation of the mechanical pressure pain threshold.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pain threshold for mechanical pressure, dominance, gender differences, experimenter – participant relation, gender-related identification
Subjects: Psychology > Kognitivna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Ivanec, Dragutin
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 05:14
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 13:24

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