Is This a Face of a Designer or an Engineer? Elaborative Inferences Based on Gender Stereotypes.

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Using the cross-modal priming paradigm (Nicol & Swinney, 1989), this study investigated if listeners automatically make gender-related inferences based on gender stereotypes. A rating study was conducted to define the role nouns to be used in the experiment as indicators of the stereotypes. Selected role nouns were the primes, and they were embedded into sentences which would be delivered via auditory channel. As visual targets, human faces depicting either male or female gender were used. A hundred adult Turkish monolingual participants were asked to make a Yes-No response depending on whether they thought the person in the photo was the same with the one mentioned in the sentence, or not. The results suggested that their decisions were significantly primed by the gender stereotypes both when the photo was shown at the onset and at the offset of the role noun. The reaction times did not significantly differ regardless of the congruity between implied genders from the two channels. When the photo was shown at the offset, however, an interaction tendency was observed leading incongruency to be responded faster. The results were interpreted within the scope of mental models and incremental interpretation.
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