Biases in spatial bisection induced by viewing male and female faces

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Cattaneo, Zaira; Schiavi, Susanna; Lega, Carlotta; Renzi, Chiara; Tagliaferri, Matteo; Boehringer, Jana; Carbon, Claus-Christian  ; Vecchi, Tomaso
Publisher Information: Bamberg : opus
Year of publication: 2014
is version of: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000256
Language(s): English
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-opus4-55760
Research on visual attention triggered by face gender is still relatively sparse. In the present study, three experiments are reported in which male and female participants were required to estimate the midpoint of a line (i.e., the “line bisection task”): at each end of the line a face was presented. Depending on the experimental condition, faces could be of the same gender (i.e., two males or two females) or the opposite gender. Experiment 1 and 2 findings converged in showing that when a male face was presented at the right and a female face at the left endpoint of the line, a clear rightward bias emerged compared to the other experimental conditions, indicating that male faces captured attention more than female faces. Importantly, male faces used across Experiment 1 and 2 were rated as more threatening than female faces, suggesting that perceived level of threat may have been responsible for the observed bias toward the male face. Experiment 3 corroborated this hypothesis by finding an attentional bias toward the male face with high threat (angry) faces but not with low threat (smiling) faces.
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 27. June 2014