Masculine (Instrumental) and Feminine (Expressive) Traits: A Comparison between Students in the United States and West Germany

Thomas E. Runge, Dieter Frey, Peter M. Gollwitzer, Robert L. Helmreich, Janet T. Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A German version of Spence and Helmreich's Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire (EPAQ), a measure of socially desirable and undesirable components of “Masculine” instrumentality and “feminine” expressivity, was administered to three samples in West Germany to determine whether its psychometric properties in that setting were similar to those found in samples in the United States. Factor analyses and scale intercorrelations conducted on the data from male and female high school and college students closely replicated the results reported for U.S. groups. Significant sex differences in the predicted direction were also found on all scales. The data thus support the conceptual model of masculine and feminine personality traits proposed by Spence and Helmreich as being useful for another country, West Germany, as well as the usefulness of the EPAQ as a measuring device. In addition, intracultural comparisons of the German samples were conducted to determine the relevance of the personality dimensions tapped by the EPAQ to vocational self-selection. Significant differences in theoretically reasonable directions were found be-ween high school and college students and samples of individuals enrolled in a social work training program and a training program for nursery school teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-162
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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