Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1977

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Daniel Kaeck


A survey of some of the literature relevant to observer expectancy bias, teacher expectancy bias and experimenter expectancy bias and its influence on subject behavior is presented. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of observer sex bias as it operates in the teachers' evaluations of a child's written performance. Sixth-grade teachers, 19 female and 19 male, evaluated four essays of equal quality. The four essays varied only in content and name of the writer. Content was manipulated such that each essay portrayed either stereotypic male activities or stereotypic female activities. The data was analyzed by an SPP 2.22 statistical design. The results indicated significant main effects for sex of writer and sex of content. No significant main effect was found for sex of rater. Dunn's multiple comparison procedures applied to the means of male and female raters indicated that there were significant differences between the mean ratings for sex of content and sex of writer. It was concluded that observer sex bias does operate in teachers' evaluations of a child’s written performance.


Copyright 1977 Denise J. Hansen


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