How behavioral science can boost understanding about gender

New research shows that careful brand messaging can broaden perspectives on gender issues. Ipsos’ Luke Nowlan explains what marketers can learn from this.

Ipsos | What the Future: Gender | How behavioral science can change attitudes about gender
The author(s)
  • Luke Nowlan Director, Ipsos’ Behavioral Science Center
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What the Future: Gender
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The discourse around transgender people is divisive. How can we turn down the temperature? Building on prior research, new Ipsos research shows when people take transgender people’s perspectives into account, it can result in more accepting attitudes toward gender-fluidity.

By using its proprietary tool called Nonconscious Process Tracing, Ipsos measured how much conflict people feel in their opinions about gender. The study showed that when people with negative views about transgender people were given statements that offered an empathetic view, it created more conflict in their gender beliefs than when they simply read about transgender people’s behaviors, says Luke Nowlan, Ph.D, a director in Ipsos’ Behavioral Science Center.

“The more conflict people feel in their choice, the more likely they are to change their mind.”

For marketers, policy makers and others who are discussing gender issues, using messages that encourage others to put themselves into trans people’s perspective may broaden their beliefs about gender-fluidity.

How empathy can change perspectives

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The author(s)
  • Luke Nowlan Director, Ipsos’ Behavioral Science Center