Person (mis)perception: Functionally biased sex categorization of bodies

Kerri L. Johnson, Masumi Iida, Louis G. Tassinary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social perception is among the most important tasks that occur in daily life, and perceivers readily appreciate the social affordances of others. Here, we demonstrate that sex categorizations are functionally biased towards a male percept. Perceivers judged body shapes that varied in waist-to-hip ratio to be men if they were not, in reality, exclusive to women, and male categorizations occurred more quickly than female categorizations (studies 1 and 4). This pattern was corroborated when participants identified the average body shapes of men and women (study 2) and when we assessed participants' cognitive representations (study 3). Moreover, these tendencies were modulated by emotion context (study 4). Thus, male categorizations occurred readily and rapidly, demonstrating a pronounced categorization bias and temporal advantage for male judgements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4982-4989
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume279
Issue number1749
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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body shape
gender
anthropometric measurements
Social Perception
waist-to-hip ratio
Waist-Hip Ratio
emotions
Emotions
woman

Keywords

  • Body perception
  • Person perception
  • Sex categorization
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Waist-to-hip ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Person (mis)perception : Functionally biased sex categorization of bodies. / Johnson, Kerri L.; Iida, Masumi; Tassinary, Louis G.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 279, No. 1749, 2012, p. 4982-4989.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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