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April 15, 2005

Friday, April 15th, 2005
Little Theater, Quad 346, SJU

Pam Bacon, Psychology

The Other in the Self: Gender Differences in the Self-Concept

In this talk I will discuss the relational-interdependent self-construal and its implications related to gender differences. I will also present recent experimental and survey research collected at CSB/SJU and St. Olaf College that further examines the impact of the relational self-construal on behavior, thoughts, and emotions.

How do men and women differ? Asking this question has led psychologists to create laundry lists of differences and similarities between men and women. Such lists are interesting, but they do not explain why men and women differ. Recent research on the self-concept suggests that the way that men and women define the self may help to explain gender differences in behavior, thoughts, and emotions. Specifically, the degree to which individuals think about the self in terms of close relationships (the relational-interdependent self-construal) may help to explain a variety of gender-related findings.