Evidence of immediate activation of gender information from a social role name

Reynolds, David J, Garnham, Alan and Oakhill, Jane (2006) Evidence of immediate activation of gender information from a social role name. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59 (5). pp. 886-903. ISSN 1747-0218

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Reynolds was an RF with Garnham and Oakhill. Reports work carried out on an ESRC grant.
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Alan Garnham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:40
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2012 11:22
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13841
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