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Groups in space : stereotypes and the spatial agency bias

[journal article]

Maass, Anne; Suitner, Caterina; Favaretto, Xenia; Cignacchi, Marina

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-283447

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Abstract "We propose that spatial imagery is systematically linked to stereotypic beliefs, such that more agentic groups are envisaged to the left of less agentic groups. This Spatial Agency Bias was tested in three studies. In Study 1, a content analysis of over 200 images of male-female pairs (including artwork, photographs, and cartoons) showed that males were over-proportionally presented to the left of females, but only for couples in which the male was perceived as more agentic. Study 2 (N = 40) showed that people tend to draw males to the left of females, but only if they hold stereotypic beliefs that associate males with greater agency. Study 3 (N = 61) investigated whether scanning habits due to writing direction are responsible for the Spatial Agency Bias. We found a tendency for Italian-speakers to position agentic groups (men and young people) to the left of less agentic groups (females and old people), but a reversal in Arabic speakers who tended to position the more agentic groups to the right. Together, our results suggest a subtle spatial bias in the representation of social groups that seems to be linked to culturally determined writing/reading habits." [author's abstract]
Classification Social Psychology
Free Keywords spatial bias; agency; gender stereotypes’ scanning habit
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 496-504
Journal Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45 (2009) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2009.01.004
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)