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Life Goals

  • Life Goals (Roberts & Robins, 2000): Participants are asked to both rate and rank order life goals in terms of their importance. Life goals included: Economic, Aesthetic, Social Impact, Relationship, Political, Hedonistic, and Religious. (Survey 1, 2, & 3)
  • Life Goal Expectancies (Barth et al., 2010): Participants use a timeline to indicate when (or if) they expect to experience or achieve life events related to marriage, work, and family goals. (Survey 2)
  • Competing Life Goals (Barth et al., unpublished): Participants are asked to indicate a preference between pairs of careers that afford different life goals.  Occupation gender stereotypes and other characteristics will be matched within the pairs so that preferences between pairs should be based on the value of achieving a life goal (e.g., make a lot of money vs. parenting). (Survey 1, 2, & 3)

Life Events

  • Barth et al, unpublished: Participants are presented with a checklist of common experiences for college students.  We are primarily interested in events that could affect (or be affected by) relationship and education goals. This includes current serious relationships, engagement, marriage, divorce, pregnancy, as well as stressful life events (e.g., death in the family, caregiving responsibilities, financial crisis).

Gender Roles

Occupation Characteristics

  • Occupation Ratings (Lippa, 1998): A common set of occupations will be used for each of the ratings and will include a range of STEM careers (including biology and non-STEM fields) and varying on the person-thing continuum as described by Lippa (1998).  Students rate their own individual future occupation on the same scales.
  • Occupation Stereotypes (Barth et al., unpublished; Evans & Diekman, 2009): Occupation stereotypes are assessed using a measure from our current GSE project. Specifically, participants rate the degree to which men and women occupy each of several occupations.  Goal affordance for occupations is assessed by an adapted measure from Evans and Diekman (2009). Specifically, participants rate the extent to which each of the occupations would help them achieve key life goals, including the seven life goals described earlier.

Person-Thing Orientation

STEM Career and Major Interest

  • Barth et al, unpublished: STEM career interest is assessed by having students will rate their interest on a 5-point scale.  The occupations listed for the Occupation Stereotype measures are used. Majors include biology, other STEM, and non-STEM fields that vary in their gender stereotypes (e.g., English, Business). Each year students also indicate their major which will be categorized as Biology, Other STEM, or not STEM.

Romantic Relationships

College Education

  • Barth et al, unpublished: Measures related to college education are assessed, including grades, major, and reasons for changing majors. This is collected through self-reports and student records.

Couples Survey

  • Gender Roles: Women will have already completed the gender role measures from the main survey (gender role identity and traditionalism); if a woman’s partner has not participated in the main survey he will be asked to complete the gender role measures.
  • Future Roles: These scales will assess the traditionalism and compatibility of the couples’ anticipated future roles. We use adapted measures that have previously been used with married couples that assess marital, parenting and work roles: The Parental Responsibility Scale (McBride & Mills, 1993) which assesses whether mothers or fathers are responsible for common childcare tasks; the Role Investments Penny-Sort Task (McBride & Rane, 1993) in which participants indicate the importance of  five adult roles (parent, spouse, worker, etc.) and open-ended questions about the importance of providing for a family financially (Loscocco & Spitze, 2007).
  • Goal priming–occupation interest task. The purpose of this task is to assess how the activation of relationship goals affects interest in STEM careers. Couples are randomly assigned to either the romantic relationship or neutral prime condition.  Following procedures used by Eagly et al. (2009) and Park et al. (2010), individuals will write a paragraph describing their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors about a romantic relationship in the future (romantic goal prime) or an object in the room (control condition) and afterwards rate how interested they are in different occupations (e.g., STEM fields, traditionally feminine and masculine stereotyped domains).  Comparisons between the ratings made by the two groups will help assess the degree to which romantic goal primes affect women’s and men’s career interests.
  • Relationship stability. At the second and third time point, women in the Couples Survey are asked if they are still in a romantic relationship with their partner, with someone new, or not in a relationship.