We will report 4 studies analyzing the role of perceived agency in visual representations of couples. We hypothesize a tendency to present males to the left of females, but only for couples in which males are perceived as more agentic. In Study 1 and 2, images of male-female couples were selected from the Internet with an Image Google search. Study 1 showed that famous couples were represented consistent with the hypothesis only when the male was perceived as more agentic than the female in the couple, as measured in a pre-test. Study 2 showed that the positioning of parents in the images was not significantly biased. In Study 3, 255 kindergarten and elementary school children, asked to draw their family, depicted the parent that they perceived as more agentic (either mom or dad) to the left. This bias was stronger for children younger than 7 years of age. In Study 4 we tested the hypothesis that the position of the parents reflected not only the perceived agency, but was also related to the contest. Children (N = 255) were asked to depict their parents in 6 different situations and to say, for each situation, whether it was more typical for a mum or for a dad. We found that when they evaluated the situation as more typical for a dad they were more likely to draw their father to the left side, but when they evaluated the situation as more typical for a mum they were more likely to draw their mother to the left. Together, our results suggest a subtle spatial bias in the representation of couples. Assigned spatial position was systematically related to the perceived agency, both in images of famous couples and in children’s drawings.

The positioning bias in representations of couples.

SUITNER, CATERINA;CARRARO, LUCIANA;MAASS, ANNE
2008

Abstract

We will report 4 studies analyzing the role of perceived agency in visual representations of couples. We hypothesize a tendency to present males to the left of females, but only for couples in which males are perceived as more agentic. In Study 1 and 2, images of male-female couples were selected from the Internet with an Image Google search. Study 1 showed that famous couples were represented consistent with the hypothesis only when the male was perceived as more agentic than the female in the couple, as measured in a pre-test. Study 2 showed that the positioning of parents in the images was not significantly biased. In Study 3, 255 kindergarten and elementary school children, asked to draw their family, depicted the parent that they perceived as more agentic (either mom or dad) to the left. This bias was stronger for children younger than 7 years of age. In Study 4 we tested the hypothesis that the position of the parents reflected not only the perceived agency, but was also related to the contest. Children (N = 255) were asked to depict their parents in 6 different situations and to say, for each situation, whether it was more typical for a mum or for a dad. We found that when they evaluated the situation as more typical for a dad they were more likely to draw their father to the left side, but when they evaluated the situation as more typical for a mum they were more likely to draw their mother to the left. Together, our results suggest a subtle spatial bias in the representation of couples. Assigned spatial position was systematically related to the perceived agency, both in images of famous couples and in children’s drawings.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2435071
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