Same-gender Distractors are Not so Easy to Reject : ERP Evidence of Gender Categorization

Rakić, Tamara and Steffens, Melanie C. and Wiese, Holger (2018) Same-gender Distractors are Not so Easy to Reject : ERP Evidence of Gender Categorization. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 18 (5). pp. 825-836.

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Social categorization appears to be an automatic process occurring during person perception. Understanding social categorization better is important because mere categorization can lead to stereotype activation and in turn to discrimination. The present study used a novel approach in examining event-related potentials (ERPs) of gender categorization in the “Who-Said-What?” memory paradigm; thus allowing for a more in-depth understanding of specific mechanisms underlying identity versus categorization processing. After observing video clips showing a “discussion” of female and male targets, participants were shown individual statements each accompanied by one of the discussants’ faces. While we measured ERPs, participants had to decide whether a given statement was previously made by the accompanying person’s face or not. In Same Person trials, statements were paired with the correct person, while in the distractor trials, either a Same Gender or a Different Gender distractor was shown. As expected, participants were able to reject faster Different Gender than Same Gender distractors, and they were more likely to falsely choose “yes” for a Same Gender than for a Different Gender distractor. Both indicates gender-based categorization. ERPs, analyzed in a 300-400 ms time window at occipito-temporal channels, indicated more negative amplitudes for yes-responses both for Same Person and Same Gender distractors, relative to Different Gender distractors. Overall these results show gender-based categorization even when the task was to assess the identifying information in a gender-neutral context. These findings are interpreted as showing that gender categorization automatically occurs during person perception, but later than race- or age-based categorization.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience
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The final publication is available at Springer via
?? social categorization gender categorization erp“who-said-what” paradigm ??
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Deposited On:
24 Apr 2018 14:02
Last Modified:
01 Feb 2024 00:35