Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Sagarin, Brad J.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Despite a growing number of recommendations varying in wording and response options, researchers have yet to agree on how to best request participant gender identity. Evidence suggests that gender binary and gender minority participants perceive gender identity measures differently, with gender binary participants potentially perceiving more gender inclusive measures as laborious and gender minority participants perceiving less gender inclusive measures as misgendering or invalidating. We sought to test whether seven versions of an online questionnaire (six experimental conditions with gender identity questions listed at the beginning of the questionnaire varying in gender inclusivity, and one control condition) significantly impacted participant affect, perceptions of survey value and survey enjoyment, attitudes toward the researcher, and careless or insufficient effort responding. Despite our efforts to recruit a gender-diverse sample, we recruited predominantly gender binary (n = 384; gender minority, n = 6) university members (students and nonstudents) at a large Midwestern university and Amazon Mechanical Turk workers. Contrary to predictions, there were very few differences between conditions. However, we did find that nonheterosexual (heterosexual) gender binary participants found the survey more (less) enjoyable after completing both versions of the two-step approach, relative to participants in the control condition; more conservative gender binary participants recruited from the university found the survey less valuable after completing the two-step approach (that requested sex then gender identity) relative to participants in the control condition; categorizability of gender identity responses did not differ across conditions, but codability and accuracy did; and last, correlations between neuroticism and organizational citizenship behavior were the only relationships that significantly differed across conditions. All things considered, researchers have some flexibility regarding which gender identity question format they decide to use within a predominantly gender binary sample. This flexibility decreases if researchers are concerned with how much enjoyment participants will get out of the survey or if gender identity collection either depends on codability or accuracy of responses.


185 pages




Northern Illinois University

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