Claire Gothreau
October 2019

What do you work on?

My research agenda is at the inter­sec­tion of Amer­i­can polit­i­cal behav­ior, polit­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy, and women and pol­i­tics. More specif­i­cal­ly, I study how our gender iden­ti­ty and the way in which we express that iden­ti­ty shapes how we inter­act with the polit­i­cal sphere.

“By being cheaper, online research has had a democ­ra­tiz­ing effect on the field of polit­i­cal science.”

What is the most excit­ing piece of work or research you’ve ever done?

I’m very excited about my dis­ser­ta­tion research. I explore the polit­i­cal con­se­quences of sexism, sexual harass­ment, and objec­ti­fi­ca­tion. In my most recent study, I find strong evi­dence that sexist events spur polit­i­cal engage­ment, par­tic­u­lar­ly when paired with high levels of fem­i­nist iden­ti­ty development.

What did you do using Gorilla and what did you find?

My co-author (Dr. Vin Arce­neaux) and I used Gorilla to program an experiment that explored the con­nec­tion between mas­culin­i­ty threat and repro­duc­tive rights atti­tudes as mea­sured by a test of implic­it atti­tudes. We con­tribute to the growing lit­er­a­ture on the mas­cu­line over­com­pen­sa­tion thesis, which pur­ports that men react to mas­cu­line inse­cu­ri­ty with extreme and stereo­typ­ic demon­stra­tions of their gender identity.

In this project, we explore mas­cu­line over­com­pen­sa­tion as a pre­dic­tor of atti­tudes about repro­duc­tive rights and sexist atti­tudes. If the mas­culin­i­ty over­com­pen­sa­tion thesis holds, it would be likely that in the face of threat­ened mas­culin­i­ty, men would express more con­ser­v­a­tive opin­ions about women’s repro­duc­tive rights and more sexist atti­tudes overall. Our under­ly­ing ratio­nale is that that women having more auton­o­my over their bodies is anti­thet­i­cal to the stereo­typ­ic notion that men should control women.

To prime a sense of “mas­culin­i­ty threat” we had par­tic­i­pants com­plete the Bem Sex Role Inven­to­ry, a common measure of gender iden­ti­ty. Par­tic­i­pants in the treat­ment group were given bogus feed­back that indi­cat­ed they scored in the average range for someone with the oppo­site gender iden­ti­ty. The purpose was to prime a sense of “gender threat.”

“Because of the intu­itive design, Gorilla made it much faster and easier for me to program my experiment.”

We found that those who are high in social dom­i­nance ori­en­ta­tion and were exposed to this treat­ment dis­played less support for repro­duc­tive rights.

How did Gorilla make your life or research better, easier or faster?

Because of the intu­itive design, Gorilla made it much faster for me to program my experiment. When I ran into issues cre­at­ing an Implic­it Atti­tude Test, the folks at Gorilla were incred­i­bly helpful.

For you, what is the stand-out feature in Gorilla?

For me, the stand-out feature of Gorilla is how intu­itive and ver­sa­tile it is. Gorilla makes it easy to create the indi­vid­ual ques­tion­naires and tasks that you want to use in your experiment. When you’re ready to create your experiment flow, you simply attach every­thing togeth­er in this very intu­itive way where you can send respon­dents down dif­fer­ent paths of using branch­es and randomizers.

How do you think online research is going to change your field?

I think online research has had a democ­ra­tiz­ing effect on the field of polit­i­cal science. Exper­i­men­tal research used to be done using lab and field exper­i­ments, which are both very expen­sive. The option to execute exper­i­ments online has allowed more researchers to have this as an option in their method­olog­i­cal tool kit.

When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy playing tennis, eating sushi, and hanging out with my family.

Claire Gothreau
PhD Candidate
Temple University
Political Behavior; Gender and Politics; Political Psychology

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