Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Carole Scherling

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


The purpose of this study is to determine if gender biases play a role in the judgement of fictious characters moral reasoning. Reasoning associated with morality is scored on two planes, utilitarian and non-utilitarian. Utilitarian reasoning is seen to have less emotional ties involved and more practical processing. Non-utilitarian reasoning is based on more connection-based reasoning, leading to more emotional choices. This study utilizes moral scenarios and incorporates different gender stereotypes to see if gender biases are evoked. These biases will be evident based on any impact made on judgments of moral decisions by traditionally masculine or feminine characters. To conduct this study, we will be recruiting undergraduate students at Belmont University. Participants will answer a set of 10 moral dilemma questions, 5 with traditionally masculine characters and 5 with traditionally feminine characters. After completion of this, participants will then answer the 50 question Bem androgyny scale. We hypothesize that masculine characters will be judged to use a utilitarian response, while feminine characters will be judged to have a non-utilitarian response. The data is currently being collected and results will be analyzed using a within sample T-Test.