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Powerful men on top: Stereotypes interact with metaphors in social categorizations

Zarzeczna, Natalia, von Hecker, Ulrich ORCID:, Proulx, Travis ORCID: and Haddock, Geoffrey ORCID: 2020. Powerful men on top: Stereotypes interact with metaphors in social categorizations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 46 (1) , pp. 36-65. 10.1037/xhp0000699

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We examined whether people can simultaneously apply 2 cognitive strategies in social categorizations. Specifically, we tested whether stereotypes concerning social power of gender categories interact with metaphoric power-space links. Based on the conceptual blending perspective suggesting that semantically consistent concepts acquire each other's properties, we predicted the following: Given that stereotypes create expectations linking gender with power, and metaphorically power is linked with vertical space, the conceptual blend of gender-power-space would invoke representations of male targets at the top vertical position when categorizing them as powerful, while female targets at the bottom when categorizing them as powerless. Across 6 studies, we show that the concept of gender is simulated spatially when people attribute power to male, but not female, targets. The predicted power-gender blending involved simulations of men judged as powerful when presented in upper location as opposed to women judged as powerful in upper location and men judged as powerful in lower location. Our hypothesis was further corroborated using pupillometry to assess preconscious processing, whereby stereotypically inconsistent orientations of gender and power evoked pupillary markers indicative of surprise. Our studies suggest that gender-power stereotypic expectations interact with the power-space metaphor in social categorizations

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0096-1523
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 August 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 August 2019
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 17:23

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