Johnny Depp, Reconsidered: How Category-Relative Processing Fluency Determines the Appeal of Gender Ambiguity

Helen E Owen , Jamin Halberstadt , Evan W Carr , Piotr Winkielman


Individuals that combine features of both genders-gender blends-are sometimes appealing and sometimes not. Heretofore, this difference was explained entirely in terms of sexual selection. In contrast, we propose that part of individuals' preference for gender blends is due to the cognitive effort required to classify them, and that such effort depends on the context in which a blend is judged. In two studies, participants judged the attractiveness of male-female morphs. Participants did so after classifying each face in terms of its gender, which was selectively more effortful for gender blends, or classifying faces on a gender-irrelevant dimension, which was equally effortful for gender blends. In both studies, gender blends were disliked when, and only when, the faces were first classified by gender, despite an overall preference for feminine features in all conditions. Critically, the preferences were mediated by the effort of stimulus classification. The results suggest that the v
Author Helen E Owen
Helen E Owen,,
, Jamin Halberstadt
Jamin Halberstadt,,
, Evan W Carr
Evan W Carr,,
, Piotr Winkielman (Wydział Psychologii)
Piotr Winkielman,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesPlos One, ISSN 1932-6203, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in EnglishBeauty*, Face*, Gender Identity*, Visual Perception*, Computer Simulation, Continental Population Groups, Female, Femininity, Humans, Male, Masculinity, Physical Appearance, Body, Random Allocation, Sex Characteristics, Social Perception, Young Adult
ASJC Classification1100 General Agricultural and Biological Sciences; 1300 General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; 2700 General Medicine
Languageen angielski
journal.pone.0146328.PDF 1.09 MB
Additional file
Oświadczenie_publ__2016_aktualne-PLOS-Gender.pdf 362.83 KB
Score (nominal)40
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.101; WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 2.806 (2) - 2016=3.394 (5)
Citation count*18 (2021-02-26)
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