Notes: (1) Links in Section 1 provide a PDF of the article. (2) Section 2 includes abstracts, replication files, online appendices, links to the article on the journal's website, links to media coverage, and other resources associated with each article.
(1) Links to published articles
Petts, Richard J., Trenton D. Mize, and Gayle Kaufman. 2022. “Organizational Policies, Workplace Culture, and Perceived Job Commitment of Mothers and Fathers Who Take Parental Leave.” Social Science Research.
Manago, Bianca, Trenton D. Mize, and Long Doan. 2021. “Can you really study an army on the internet? Comparing how status tasks perform in the laboratory and online settings.” Sociological Methodology. 51(2):319-347.
Benard, Stephen and Trenton D. Mize. 2016. “Small Groups: Reflections of, and Building Blocks for Social Structure.” Pp 293-320 in Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory ed. Seth Abrutyn. Springer.
(2) Abstracts, replication files, online appendices, etc.
Petts, Richard J., Gayle Kaufman, and Trenton D. Mize. Online First. “Parental leave-taking and perceptions of workers as good parents.” Journal of Marriage and Family.
Objective: This study examines whether parental leave-taking affects perceptions of workers as good parents, and whether this relationship varies between mothers and fathers.
Background: Contemporary parenthood norms promote intensive parenting, but pressures to engage in intensive parenting are more pronounced for mothers than fathers. Paid parental leave policies have the potential to improve gender equality, but only if such policies help to change gendered parenting norms. We assess whether leave-taking further entrenches gendered parenting norms within workplaces or promotes greater perceptions of good parenting among fathers.
Method: We use combined data on 3,333 respondents from two survey experiments in which parental leave-taking and parental gender were randomly assigned. This enables us to assess the causal effects of parental leave-taking on perceptions of mothers and fathers as good parents.
Results: Mothers and fathers in married, different-sex partnerships are more likely to be viewed as good parents when they take longer periods of leave. Also, the positive effects of leave-taking on perceptions of workers as good parents are stronger for fathers than for mothers—but only for short amounts of leave taken.
Conclusion: Greater access to, and use of, paid parental leave may enable more parents to be perceived as fulfilling contemporary parenting norms, and may especially increase the likelihood that fathers are viewed as good parents. As such, these policies may help to change gendered perceptions of parenting and promote greater gender equality.
Mize, Trenton D and Bianca Manago. 2022. "The past, present, and future of experimental methods in the social sciences." Social Science Research.
In the midst of the current causal revolution, experimental methods are increasingly embraced across the social sciences. We first document the growth in the use of the experimental method and then overview the current state of the field along with suggestions for future research. Our review covers the core features of experiments that facilitate causal inference, and we offer numerous examples of different experimental designs and the types of research questions they are well-suited to test. We then harmonize popular but differing perspectives on validity in regard to experiments focused on theoretical considerations. Next, we detail a new framework of purposive sampling for social science experiments, suggesting researchers could benefit from moving beyond only two stock choices of representativeness or convenience. We then discuss issues of analysis unique to experimental data before ending with a critical discussion of null findings, open-science practices, social desirability, and other open debates in the experimental methods literature.
Manago, Bianca and Trenton D. Mize. 2022. “The status and stigma consequences of mental illness labels, deviant behavior, and fear.” Social Science Research.
- Abstract: Despite the breadth of research on mental illness, there remains some ambivalence about the distinct and combined effects of mental illness labels and deviant behavior for stigma and status. To examine the effects of mental illness labels and deviant behavior on stigma and status, we use experimental methods. Because fear is tightly linked with understandings of mental illness, we also consider the role of fear in these processes. We find that absent behavioral descriptions, mental illness labels do not affect status; however, deviant behavior that is and is not labeled as a mental illness decreases status. Neither deviant behavior nor mental illness labels independently affect stigma; however, compared to unlabeled deviant behavior, deviant behavior that is labeled as a mental illness either increases or decreases stigma for fear-inducing and fear-neutral behavior, respectively. In summary, the effects of mental illness labels appear to depend on behavioral connotations, including fear.
Petts, Richard J., Trenton D. Mize, and Gayle Kaufman. 2022. “Organizational Policies, Workplace Culture, and Perceived Job Commitment of Mothers and Fathers Who Take Parental Leave.” Social Science Research.
- Abstract: Americans do not always fully utilize available parental leave policies due (in part) to fear of a commitment penalty – where taking leave (or taking longer periods of leave) lowers perceptions of job commitment. Using a survey experiment (N=1,713) to identify whether organizational leave policies affect perceived job commitment, we find that leave-taking (and taking longer periods of leave) is negatively associated with perceived commitment. However, perceived commitment is higher when workers take leave under more favorable policies, and the effect of favorable policies on perceived commitment is greater for fathers than mothers. Overall, these results can help organizations design parental leave policies that increase the likelihood that workers can take needed leave without damaging their careers.
Manago, Bianca, Trenton D. Mize, and Long Doan. 2021. “Can you really study an army on the internet? Comparing how status tasks perform in the laboratory and online settings.” Sociological Methodology.
- Abstract: Laboratory experiments have a long history within sociology, with their ability to test causality and their utility for directly observing behavior providing key advantages. One influential social psychological field, status characteristics and expectation states theory, has almost exclusively used laboratory experiments to test the theory. Unfortunately, laboratory experiments are resource intensive, requiring a research pool, laboratory space, and considerable amounts of time. For these and other reasons, social scientists are increasingly exploring the possibility of moving experiments from the lab to an online platform. Despite the advantages of the online setting, the transition from the lab is challenging, especially when studying behavior. In this project, we develop methods to translate the traditional status characteristics experimental setting from the laboratory to online. We conducted parallel laboratory and online behavioral experiments using three tasks from the status literature, comparing each task’s ability to differentiate on the basis of status distinctions. We find the tasks produce equivalent results in the online and laboratory environment; however, not all tasks are equally sensitive to status differences. Finally, we provide more general guidance on how to move vital aspects of laboratory studies, such as debriefing, suspicion checks, and scope condition checks, to the online setting.
Mize, Trenton D., Gayle Kaufman, and Richard J. Petts. 2021. "Visualizing Shifts in Gendered Parenting Attitudes during COVID-19." Socius.
- Abstract: Many scholars have expressed fears that the 2019 coronavirus pandemic may exacerbate gender inequalities. Indeed, studies have suggested that women, and mothers in particular, have been particularly affected by reducing their participation in the paid labor market to meet increased caregiving needs. What is less clear is whether the pandemic has also shifted attitudes about mothers’ and fathers’ roles. We collected data on gendered parenting attitudes both before and during the pandemic and report shifts in attitudes in this data visualization. Consistent with fears of exacerbated gender inequality, we find a shift toward more conventional gender parenting attitudes. We also find an increase in the importance placed on mothers’ and fathers’ earning money and a decrease in the role mothers and fathers play in child development, both of which may be due to the pandemic’s effects on the economy and schooling.
Doan, Long and Trenton D. Mize. 2020. "Sexual Identity Disclosure among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals." Sociological Science.
- Abstract: Most research on sexual prejudice explicitly or implicitly assumes that an individual’s sexual orientation identity is known to observers. However, there has been little large-scale survey evidence examining differential rates of disclosure among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals, and there remains much to be studied as to why and when LGB individuals choose to disclose their sexual identity to others. Using data from a nationally representative sample of LGB Americans (N=1,085), we assess the contexts and conditions under which LGB individuals disclose their sexual identities. Results show that bisexual women and men are significantly less likely to disclose their sexual identity across several important social domains, such as family and the workplace. This disclosure gap is partially explained by measures of identity commitment but surprisingly not by measures of perceived social acceptance. We discuss implications of these findings for sexuality and identity research.
Mize, Trenton D., Long Doan, and J. Scott Long. 2019. "A General Framework for Comparing Predictions and Marginal Effects Across Models." Sociological Methodology.
- Abstract: Many research questions involve comparing predictions or effects across multiple models. For example, it may be of interest whether an independent variable’s effect changes after adding variables to a model. Or, it could be important to compare a variable’s effect on different outcomes or across different types of models. When doing this, marginal effects are a useful method for quantifying effects since they are in the natural metric of the dependent variable and they avoid identification problems when comparing regression coefficients across logit and probit models. Despite advances that make it possible to compute marginal effects for almost any model, there is no general method for comparing these effects across models. In this paper we provide a general framework for comparing predictions and marginal effects across models using seemingly unrelated estimation to combine estimates from multiple models, which allows tests of the equality of predictions and effects across models. We illustrate our method to compare nested models, to compare effects on different dependent or independent variables, to compare results from different samples or groups within one sample, or to assess results from different types of models.
Mize, Trenton D. 2019. "Best Practices for Estimating, Interpreting, and Presenting Nonlinear Interaction Effects." Sociological Science.
- Abstract: Many effects of interest to sociologists are nonlinear. Additionally, many effects of interest are interaction effects—that is, the effect of one independent variable is contingent on the level of another independent variable. The proper way to estimate, interpret, and present these two types of effects individually are well known. However, many analyses that combine these two—that is, tests of interaction when the effects of interest are nonlinear—are not properly interpreted or tested. The consequences of approaching nonlinear interaction effects the way one would approach a linear interaction effect are severe and can often result in incorrect conclusions. I cover both nonlinear effects in the context of linear regression, and—most thoroughly—nonlinear effects in models for categorical outcomes (focusing on binary logit/probit). My goal in this article is to synthesize an evolving methodological literature and to provide straightforward advice and techniques to estimate,interpret, and present nonlinear interaction effects.
Mize, Trenton D. 2019. "Doing Gender by Criticizing Leaders: Public and Private Displays of Status." Social Problems.
- Abstract: Previous work shows that stereotypes influence women’s ability to attain and act in leadership positions, however much less work has examined the role that gendered expectations and stereotypes might play for subordinate behavior and how this might reinforce the gender leadership gap. Drawing on theories of gender and status, I predict gender differences in responses to and behavior in subordinate roles. In a series of experimental studies I find that men are more publicly critical of leaders and are more willing to undermine leaders than are women. In two studies I show that men are more publicly critical in both high and low status subordinate roles, and under both men and women leaders. In a third study, I show that men and women do not differ in their private evaluations of a leader and that gender differences only arise in publicly visible evaluations and criticism. Gender differences in public criticism may be due to men exaggerating their criticism to restore a threatened sense of status or masculinity, or due to women tempering their criticism due to gender stereotypes that discourage assertive and critical behavior for women. Either explanation suggests that men and women perform gendered expectations in public and behave in ways that can disadvantage women leaders.
Mize, Trenton D. and Bianca Manago. 2018. "Precarious Sexuality: How Men and Women are Differentially Categorized for Similar Sexual Behavior." American Sociological Review.
- Abstract: Are men and women categorized differently for similar sexual behavior? Building on theories of gender, sexuality, and status, we introduce the concept of precarious sexuality to suggest that men’s—but not women’s—heterosexuality is an especially privileged identity that is easily lost. We test our hypotheses in a series of survey experiments describing a person who has a sexual experience conflicting with their sexual history. We find that a single same-sex sexual encounter leads an observer to question a heterosexual man’s sexual orientation to a greater extent than that of a heterosexual woman in a similar situation. We also find that a different-sex sexual encounter is more likely to change others’ perceptions of a lesbian woman’s sexual orientation—compared to perceptions of a gay man’s sexual orientation. In two conceptual replications, we vary the level of intimacy of the sexual encounter and find consistent evidence for our idea of precarious sexuality for heterosexual men. We close with a general discussion of how status beliefs influence categorization processes and with suggestions for extending our theoretical propositions to other categories beyond those of sexual orientation.
Mize, Trenton D. and Bianca Manago. 2018. "The Stereotype Content of Sexual Orientation." Social Currents.
- Abstract: The stereotype content model provides a powerful tool to examine influential societal stereotypes associated with social groups. We theorize how stereotypes of gender, sexuality, and a group’s status in society combine to influence societal views of sexual orientation groups—placing particular emphasis on stereotypes of warmth and competence. In two survey experiments we collect quantitative measures of stereotype content and open-response items on the stereotypes of bisexual individuals. We predict—and find—that gay men and lesbian women face disadvantaging stereotypes; bisexual men and women however, face the most severely negative stereotypes of any sexual orientation group—with aggregate judgments of low warmth and competence. In the second study, using a diverse sample, we show that stereotypes about sexual orientation groups are largely culturally consensual. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of comparative approaches that consider both advantaged and disadvantaged groups to fully contextualize stereotypes of minority groups.
Benard, Stephen, Mark T. Berg, and Trenton D. Mize. 2017. "Does Aggression Deter or Invite Reciprocal Behavior? Considering Coercive Capacity." Social Psychology Quarterly.
- Abstract: How do people respond to aggression? Theory differs on whether aggressive behavior deters antagonists or provokes retaliation, and the empirical evidence is mixed. We bridge contradictory findings in the literature by identifying a previously unexamined moderating variable: the extent to which individuals can increase their coercive capability (which we call “escalating”). We argue that when escalating is costly, aggression deters potential antagonists. In contrast, when escalating is less costly, behaving aggressively fails to deter aggressive partners. We test these predictions in two behavioral experiments that manipulate the cost of escalating and whether interaction partners are aggressive or deferential. We find support for deterrence predictions when escalating is either high or low cost, but not when it is medium cost. Taken together, we provide evidence that the cost of escalation plays a key role in decisions about aggression.
Mize, Trenton D. 2017. "Profiles in Health: Multiple Roles and Health Lifestyles in Early Adulthood." Social Science & Medicine.
- Abstract: Rationale: Despite theoretical work suggesting that health behaviors should be considered in tandem rather than as individual and disconnected practices—little quantitative work has examined lifestyles of health behavior practices. In addition, while much work has examined the association of holding multiple social roles and health outcomes, little work has examined how acquiring multiple roles in early adulthood influences health behavior. Objective: This article (a) illustrates the utility of examining health lifestyles—defined as constellations of individual health behavior practices—and (b) contributes to the literature on how accumulating multiple social roles is associated with health. Methods: Using two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N=12,098) a structural equation modeling approach is used to both (a) model latent health lifestyles from observed health behavior indicators, and (b) to predict health lifestyle membership based on changes in role-occupancy during the transition to early adulthood. Results: Results suggest that the type of social role matters, with intensive obligatory roles associated with lifestyles of less tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use but also with physical inactivity. In contrast, voluntary roles are associated with more active lifestyles but increased alcohol use. Conclusion: The results illustrate the importance of modeling overall health lifestyles rather than focusing only on individual health behaviors and also advance our understanding of how holding multiple roles is associated with health by extending the framework to an examination of health behavior.
Mize, Trenton D. 2016. "Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market." American Sociological Review.
- Abstract: Most analyses of sexual orientation and earnings find that gay men face a wage gap, whereas lesbian women earn higher wages than similar heterosexual women. However, analyses rarely consider bisexual men and women as a unique group separate from other sexual minorities. I argue that such binary views of sexual orientation—treating sexual minorities as a homogenous non-heterosexual group—have obscured understandings of the impact of sexual orientation on labor market outcomes. Specifically, I predict that unequal outcomes for gay men and lesbian women are partly due to the influence of family arrangements and their effects on earnings. In contrast, I argue that bisexual men and women should be the most disadvantaged in the labor market, due to particularly disadvantaging stereotypes, perceptions of choice to their sexual orientation, and prejudicial treatment. Using data from the General Social Survey (N = 13,554) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 14,714), I show that family arrangements explain some of the observed earnings differentials for gay men and lesbian women. Bisexual men and women, in contrast, face wage penalties that are not explained by human capital differences or occupational characteristics. Perceptions of prejudicial treatment partially explain the observed wage gaps.
Benard, Stephen and Trenton D. Mize. 2016. "Small Groups: Reflections Of, and Building Blocks For Social Structure." in the Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory. Springer.
- Abstract: Our lives are tightly bound up in small groups. From families, friends, and peer groups, to athletic teams, voluntary associations, and work units, small groups constitute much of the fabric of our daily lives. In this chapter, we argue that small groups are important for sociologists to understand because they serve as building blocks of society, offering settings in which rudimentary forms of social structure can emerge. Small groups provide a place – usually the first place – where individuals learn to negotiate hierarchies, conform to or deviate from social norms, develop group boundaries, and where they develop and disseminate bits of culture. We organize the chapter around these five structure-producing social processes: status, power, identity, influence and social norms, and group cultures, and illustrate how these processes operate in small groups. In doing so, we illustrate the diversity of theories that have focused on small groups as the unit of analysis. We also speculate about the reasons why sociological interest in small groups has declined over time, and suggest ways in which small groups researchers can further contribute to and play a larger role in sociology.
Mize, Trenton D. 2015. "What Social Psychology Can Contribute to the Study of Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation." Sociology Compass.
- Abstract: The concepts of sex and gender have received increasing attention in sociology in recent years, with social psychologists providing many of the key insights. Issues of sexual orientation and sexuality have received comparably less attention, although many of the tools social psychologists use could be fruitfully applied to better understand sex, gender, sexual orientation, and the intimate connections between the three. In particular, I outline the perspectives of doing gender, stereotyping, and status and suggest possible ways to incorporate these frameworks into intersectional examinations of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. I argue that to fully understand sex, gender, or sexual orientation, researchers should consider all three and recognize the highly interconnected nature of each.
Mize, Trenton D. and Tre Myers. 2011. "Exploring Racial Differences on the Measurement and Experience of Emotion." Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.
- Abstract: An emerging technique for studying emotions in social interaction involves the measurement of temperature changes in regions of the face using infrared thermography. In this paper, we explore possible systematic differences in facial temperature, facial temperature changes, and self-reported emotion as a function of participant’s racial identification and skin tone color. In an experimental study, participants viewed emotionally evocative images while their facial temperature was measured using infrared thermography. Participants also completed self-report emotion measurements. We found consistent differences in average facial temperature by race across all images and all facial regions, but no differences in facial temperature change based on race (indicating no differences in the experience of emotion by race). We also found some minor differences in self-reported emotion by race, but no differences that would explain the consistent average temperature differences observed. We propose that the facial temperature differences observed were due to different skin tone emissivities, which would cause lighter or darker skin tones to be measured at different temperatures by the infrared camera. This explanation was supported as skin tone was more predictive of mean facial temperature than was self-reported race. We close by discussing the important implications the findings have for future studies using infrared thermography to measure emotion.