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Gender differences in crowd perception.

Bai Y, Leib AY, Puri AM, Whitney D, Peng K - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: In this study, we investigated whether the first impression of a crowd of faces-crowd perception-is influenced by social background and cognitive processing.Furthermore, the results showed that females were generally more accurate in estimating the average identity of a crowd.Overall, the results suggest that group perception is not an isolated or uniform cognitive mechanism, but rather one that interacts with biological and social processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
In this study, we investigated whether the first impression of a crowd of faces-crowd perception-is influenced by social background and cognitive processing. Specifically, we explored whether males and females, two groups that are distinct biologically and socially, differ in their ability to extract ensemble characteristics from crowds of faces that were comprised of different identities. Participants were presented with crowds of similar faces and were instructed to scroll through a morphed continuum of faces until they found a face that was representative of the average identity of each crowd. Consistent with previous research, females were more precise in single face perception. Furthermore, the results showed that females were generally more accurate in estimating the average identity of a crowd. However, the correlation between single face discrimination and crowd averaging differed between males and females. Specifically, male subjects' ensemble integration slightly compensated for their poor single face perception; their performance on the crowd perception task was not as poor as would be expected from their single face discrimination ability. Overall, the results suggest that group perception is not an isolated or uniform cognitive mechanism, but rather one that interacts with biological and social processes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Results of Experiment 1. (A) Males' and females' estimated AEE for upright crowds and inverted crowds. Error bars represent bootstrapped ± 1 SD. (B) Relationship between single identity discrimination (homogeneous upright face condition) and crowd face perception (heterogeneous upright face condition) for males and females in Experiment 1.
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Figure 2: Results of Experiment 1. (A) Males' and females' estimated AEE for upright crowds and inverted crowds. Error bars represent bootstrapped ± 1 SD. (B) Relationship between single identity discrimination (homogeneous upright face condition) and crowd face perception (heterogeneous upright face condition) for males and females in Experiment 1.

Mentions: We conducted a 2 (subject gender: female vs. male) × 2 (picture orientation: upright vs. inverted) × 2 (display condition: heterogeneous vs. homogeneous) × 2 (picture gender: female vs. male) ANOVA. Subject gender was a between-subject variable. Consistent with previous research (Haberman and Whitney, 2009; Leib et al., 2012), the ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of picture orientation: participants were significantly better in estimating the mean identity for upright faces compared to inverted faces [F(1, 21) = 23.56, p < 0.001, ]. The variance also had a significant effect on subjects' results; subjects performed much better when the displays were homogeneous [F(1, 21) = 82.37, p < 0.001, ]. Furthermore, as we predicted, we found a significant effect of subject gender [F(1, 21) = 6.27, p < 0.05, ]; females' AEE for mean identity (M = 21.14, SE = 1.26) was smaller (more precise) than male subjects' AEE (M = 25.52, SE = 1.20). The display variance × participant's gender interaction was not significant [F(1, 21) = 1.21, p = 0.28 > 0.05], suggesting that females were overall more accurate in perceiving single face and ensemble coding group of faces. The orientation × participants' gender interaction was marginally significant [Figure 2A; F(1, 21) = 4.07, p = 0.057, ]. Simple effect analysis of this interaction revealed that when the display faces were upright, females performed significantly better than males [F(1, 21) = 8.82, p < 0.01, ]; when the display faces were inverted, the two genders' performance was only marginally different [F(1, 21) = 3.12, p = 0.092, ]. This result suggests that females are not simply better at identifying simple shape or color contrasts in the crowd of faces (the shapes and color contrasts are still available when the crowd is inverted). Instead, females are actually better at ensemble coding a crowd of faces as they would be presented in typical social settings (upright). In addition, the interaction between participants' gender and stimulus gender was not significant [F(1, 21) = 0.40, p = 0.532, ], excluding the possible own-gender effect which might lead to the observed gender difference.


Gender differences in crowd perception.

Bai Y, Leib AY, Puri AM, Whitney D, Peng K - Front Psychol (2015)

Results of Experiment 1. (A) Males' and females' estimated AEE for upright crowds and inverted crowds. Error bars represent bootstrapped ± 1 SD. (B) Relationship between single identity discrimination (homogeneous upright face condition) and crowd face perception (heterogeneous upright face condition) for males and females in Experiment 1.
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Figure 2: Results of Experiment 1. (A) Males' and females' estimated AEE for upright crowds and inverted crowds. Error bars represent bootstrapped ± 1 SD. (B) Relationship between single identity discrimination (homogeneous upright face condition) and crowd face perception (heterogeneous upright face condition) for males and females in Experiment 1.
Mentions: We conducted a 2 (subject gender: female vs. male) × 2 (picture orientation: upright vs. inverted) × 2 (display condition: heterogeneous vs. homogeneous) × 2 (picture gender: female vs. male) ANOVA. Subject gender was a between-subject variable. Consistent with previous research (Haberman and Whitney, 2009; Leib et al., 2012), the ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of picture orientation: participants were significantly better in estimating the mean identity for upright faces compared to inverted faces [F(1, 21) = 23.56, p < 0.001, ]. The variance also had a significant effect on subjects' results; subjects performed much better when the displays were homogeneous [F(1, 21) = 82.37, p < 0.001, ]. Furthermore, as we predicted, we found a significant effect of subject gender [F(1, 21) = 6.27, p < 0.05, ]; females' AEE for mean identity (M = 21.14, SE = 1.26) was smaller (more precise) than male subjects' AEE (M = 25.52, SE = 1.20). The display variance × participant's gender interaction was not significant [F(1, 21) = 1.21, p = 0.28 > 0.05], suggesting that females were overall more accurate in perceiving single face and ensemble coding group of faces. The orientation × participants' gender interaction was marginally significant [Figure 2A; F(1, 21) = 4.07, p = 0.057, ]. Simple effect analysis of this interaction revealed that when the display faces were upright, females performed significantly better than males [F(1, 21) = 8.82, p < 0.01, ]; when the display faces were inverted, the two genders' performance was only marginally different [F(1, 21) = 3.12, p = 0.092, ]. This result suggests that females are not simply better at identifying simple shape or color contrasts in the crowd of faces (the shapes and color contrasts are still available when the crowd is inverted). Instead, females are actually better at ensemble coding a crowd of faces as they would be presented in typical social settings (upright). In addition, the interaction between participants' gender and stimulus gender was not significant [F(1, 21) = 0.40, p = 0.532, ], excluding the possible own-gender effect which might lead to the observed gender difference.

Bottom Line: In this study, we investigated whether the first impression of a crowd of faces-crowd perception-is influenced by social background and cognitive processing.Furthermore, the results showed that females were generally more accurate in estimating the average identity of a crowd.Overall, the results suggest that group perception is not an isolated or uniform cognitive mechanism, but rather one that interacts with biological and social processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
In this study, we investigated whether the first impression of a crowd of faces-crowd perception-is influenced by social background and cognitive processing. Specifically, we explored whether males and females, two groups that are distinct biologically and socially, differ in their ability to extract ensemble characteristics from crowds of faces that were comprised of different identities. Participants were presented with crowds of similar faces and were instructed to scroll through a morphed continuum of faces until they found a face that was representative of the average identity of each crowd. Consistent with previous research, females were more precise in single face perception. Furthermore, the results showed that females were generally more accurate in estimating the average identity of a crowd. However, the correlation between single face discrimination and crowd averaging differed between males and females. Specifically, male subjects' ensemble integration slightly compensated for their poor single face perception; their performance on the crowd perception task was not as poor as would be expected from their single face discrimination ability. Overall, the results suggest that group perception is not an isolated or uniform cognitive mechanism, but rather one that interacts with biological and social processes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus