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Commentary: An experimental study of gender and cultural differences in hue preference.

Witzel C - Front Psychol (2015)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes Paris, France.

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While the observation of cultural and sex-specific differences is very much in line with previous studies, the conclusion that sex differences vary by culture is not... Although it is true that some previous studies failed to identify systematic effects of gender on color preferences within cultures (for a brief review see Al-Rasheed,, pp. 1–2; see also Palmer and Schloss, ); those studies did not test for cross-cultural patterns of sexual differences... In contrast, a recent study compared English and Chinese color preferences and found strong similarities in sex differences across these two fundamentally different cultures (Hurlbert and Ling, )... This finding showed that “sex differences in color preferences transcend extreme differences in culture and ecology” (Sorokowski et al., )... For this reason, I reanalyzed the data from Al-Rasheed's (, Figures 1B,C) and Hurlbert and Ling's (, Figure 1) study by calculating the sexual contrasts (preferences of women—preferences of men) per color for Arabic, English, and Chinese observers measured in these two studies... Figure 1A shows the results... First, I tested whether the data in Figure 1A reproduces the positive correlation between sexual contrasts across cultures found previously by Sorokowski et al.... Hurlbert and Ling demonstrated for their data that preference differences between men and women, across two cultures, are largely captured by differences in weighting on a low-level sensory dimension of color vision, the L-M mechanism, which they called “biological components of sex differences in color preference. ” In contrast, Sorokowski et al. argued, that sexual contrasts must necessarily correlate with any perceptual dimension of color vision, not only the biological components, because sexual contrasts change gradually across colors... These findings strongly support the idea that “sex differences in color preferences transcend extreme differences in culture and ecology” (Sorokowski et al., )... Due to the small sample of colors, statistics did not allow to draw a firm conclusion about whether these cross-cultural regularities are specific to the “biological components” of color vision (Hurlbert and Ling, ), or not (Sorokowski et al., )... The present findings are further supported by a recent study with more stimuli (32) that showed a cross-cultural correlation between sexual contrasts of American and Japanese, and that found little evidence in support for the “biological components” (Yokosawa et al., ).

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Sexual contrasts in Al-Rasheed's (2015) and Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (A) Sexual contrasts (average preferences of women—average preferences of men) along the y-axis as a function of CIELUV hue angle in degree for Arabic (green curve; 36 women and 32 men), and English observers (solid black curve; 31 women and 17 men) in Al-Rasheed's (2015) study, and for English (dotted black curve; 92 women and 79 men) and Chinese (red curve; 18 women and 19 men) observers in Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (B) Variance of sexual contrasts across colors explained by the biological component model (L-M). Error bars show 90% confidence interval (i.e., 95% for one-tailed tests, as here) based on boot-strapping of the correlation coefficient r (Pernet et al., 2012).
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Figure 1: Sexual contrasts in Al-Rasheed's (2015) and Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (A) Sexual contrasts (average preferences of women—average preferences of men) along the y-axis as a function of CIELUV hue angle in degree for Arabic (green curve; 36 women and 32 men), and English observers (solid black curve; 31 women and 17 men) in Al-Rasheed's (2015) study, and for English (dotted black curve; 92 women and 79 men) and Chinese (red curve; 18 women and 19 men) observers in Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (B) Variance of sexual contrasts across colors explained by the biological component model (L-M). Error bars show 90% confidence interval (i.e., 95% for one-tailed tests, as here) based on boot-strapping of the correlation coefficient r (Pernet et al., 2012).

Mentions: One limitation of the study of Sorokowski et al. (2014) was that they had a limited stimulus set of 12 colors, and the question arose whether their results depended on their particular set of stimuli. The data of Al-Rasheed (2015) for color preferences in English and Arabic women and men may be used to test this finding with a different set of eight colors. Moreover, since Al-Rasheed (2015) used the same color stimuli as Hurlbert and Ling (2007), their data can be directly compared. For this reason, I reanalyzed the data from Al-Rasheed's (2015, Figures 1B,C) and Hurlbert and Ling's (2007, Figure 1) study by calculating the sexual contrasts (preferences of women—preferences of men) per color for Arabic, English, and Chinese observers measured in these two studies. Figure 1A shows the results.


Commentary: An experimental study of gender and cultural differences in hue preference.

Witzel C - Front Psychol (2015)

Sexual contrasts in Al-Rasheed's (2015) and Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (A) Sexual contrasts (average preferences of women—average preferences of men) along the y-axis as a function of CIELUV hue angle in degree for Arabic (green curve; 36 women and 32 men), and English observers (solid black curve; 31 women and 17 men) in Al-Rasheed's (2015) study, and for English (dotted black curve; 92 women and 79 men) and Chinese (red curve; 18 women and 19 men) observers in Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (B) Variance of sexual contrasts across colors explained by the biological component model (L-M). Error bars show 90% confidence interval (i.e., 95% for one-tailed tests, as here) based on boot-strapping of the correlation coefficient r (Pernet et al., 2012).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Figure 1: Sexual contrasts in Al-Rasheed's (2015) and Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (A) Sexual contrasts (average preferences of women—average preferences of men) along the y-axis as a function of CIELUV hue angle in degree for Arabic (green curve; 36 women and 32 men), and English observers (solid black curve; 31 women and 17 men) in Al-Rasheed's (2015) study, and for English (dotted black curve; 92 women and 79 men) and Chinese (red curve; 18 women and 19 men) observers in Hurlbert and Ling's (2007) study. (B) Variance of sexual contrasts across colors explained by the biological component model (L-M). Error bars show 90% confidence interval (i.e., 95% for one-tailed tests, as here) based on boot-strapping of the correlation coefficient r (Pernet et al., 2012).
Mentions: One limitation of the study of Sorokowski et al. (2014) was that they had a limited stimulus set of 12 colors, and the question arose whether their results depended on their particular set of stimuli. The data of Al-Rasheed (2015) for color preferences in English and Arabic women and men may be used to test this finding with a different set of eight colors. Moreover, since Al-Rasheed (2015) used the same color stimuli as Hurlbert and Ling (2007), their data can be directly compared. For this reason, I reanalyzed the data from Al-Rasheed's (2015, Figures 1B,C) and Hurlbert and Ling's (2007, Figure 1) study by calculating the sexual contrasts (preferences of women—preferences of men) per color for Arabic, English, and Chinese observers measured in these two studies. Figure 1A shows the results.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes Paris, France.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

While the observation of cultural and sex-specific differences is very much in line with previous studies, the conclusion that sex differences vary by culture is not... Although it is true that some previous studies failed to identify systematic effects of gender on color preferences within cultures (for a brief review see Al-Rasheed,, pp. 1–2; see also Palmer and Schloss, ); those studies did not test for cross-cultural patterns of sexual differences... In contrast, a recent study compared English and Chinese color preferences and found strong similarities in sex differences across these two fundamentally different cultures (Hurlbert and Ling, )... This finding showed that “sex differences in color preferences transcend extreme differences in culture and ecology” (Sorokowski et al., )... For this reason, I reanalyzed the data from Al-Rasheed's (, Figures 1B,C) and Hurlbert and Ling's (, Figure 1) study by calculating the sexual contrasts (preferences of women—preferences of men) per color for Arabic, English, and Chinese observers measured in these two studies... Figure 1A shows the results... First, I tested whether the data in Figure 1A reproduces the positive correlation between sexual contrasts across cultures found previously by Sorokowski et al.... Hurlbert and Ling demonstrated for their data that preference differences between men and women, across two cultures, are largely captured by differences in weighting on a low-level sensory dimension of color vision, the L-M mechanism, which they called “biological components of sex differences in color preference. ” In contrast, Sorokowski et al. argued, that sexual contrasts must necessarily correlate with any perceptual dimension of color vision, not only the biological components, because sexual contrasts change gradually across colors... These findings strongly support the idea that “sex differences in color preferences transcend extreme differences in culture and ecology” (Sorokowski et al., )... Due to the small sample of colors, statistics did not allow to draw a firm conclusion about whether these cross-cultural regularities are specific to the “biological components” of color vision (Hurlbert and Ling, ), or not (Sorokowski et al., )... The present findings are further supported by a recent study with more stimuli (32) that showed a cross-cultural correlation between sexual contrasts of American and Japanese, and that found little evidence in support for the “biological components” (Yokosawa et al., ).

No MeSH data available.