ATTENTION TO GENDER STEREOTYPIC EXPRESSIONS OF THREAT: THE INTERACTIVE NATURE OF GENDER AND FACIAL MATURITY

Open Access
Author:
Nelson, Anthony J
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 12, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Reginald Adams Jr., Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • gender
  • attention
  • facial expressions
  • facial appearance
Abstract:
The current thesis examines whether attention to threatening facial expressions is moderated by face gender (Study 1), whether this effect is driven by gender categorization (Study 2a) or gender-related appearance (Study 2b), and whether attentional biases to gender-expression pairs are influenced by implicit gender stereotypes (Study 4). Across four studies, we found consistent and replicable effects for early attentional biases towards female fear (vs. male fear – stereotype congruent effect), whereas later attentional biases favored stereotype- incongruent gender- expression pairs (fearful males, angry females). A lack of early biases for anger was found across all studies, and was not impacted by the timing of the paradigm (Study 3). Further, the attentional biases found appear to be driven by gender category, not by gender related facial appearance. Additionally, preliminary evidence points to an association between implicit gender stereotypes and attentional maintenance on stereotype incongruous pairings. These findings are consistent with the conclusion that the perceptions of even basic threat-related emotions are moderated by social cues like face gender.