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Evidence of immediate activation of gender information from a social role name
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 18:19 authored by David J Reynolds, Alan GarnhamAlan Garnham, Jane OakhillJane Oakhill
Two experiments investigated whether the stereotypical gender of a character is encoded immediately into the discourse representation and influences later comprehension. In Experiment 1 people read, and were confused by, a short story in which an incongruity arises at the end if the gender of a character introduced by a social role name has been inferred. In Experiment 2 online measures confirmed that readers were slower to read the final clause of the passage. In addition, a follow-up verification question revealed that these readers did not immediately resolve the inconsistency by inferring the appropriate gender for the role term. These findings provide strong evidence for gender activation at the time that a role name is encoded. The implications of these results for the mental representation of gender information and for constraints on inference during text comprehension are discussed.
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
NotesReynolds was an RF with Garnham and Oakhill. Reports work carried out on an ESRC grant.
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