Anne Maass

Anne Maass
University of Padova | UNIPD · Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation

PhD

About

142
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (142)
Book
There has recently been a renewed interest in the role of spatial dimensions in social cognition, and how vertical and horizontal trajectories are used to represent social concepts such as power, agency, aggression, and dominance. Most of this work surrounds the idea that abstract concepts are intrinsically linked to our sensory and motor experienc...
Article
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Do people align their self-concepts to relevant material cues in the environment? It was predicted that low-status (homosexuals), but not high-status group members (heterosexuals), respond to material cues by shifting the type of self-categorization and self-stereotyping. In the presence (vs. absence) of material cues to sexual orientation, homosex...
Article
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Across two studies we investigated the hypothesis that exposure to objectifying television in which women are shown as sexual objects increases the likelihood of harassing conduct. In both studies (Ns = 141; 120), male participants were exposed to one of three TV clips in which women were portrayed (a) as sexual objects (objectifying TV), (b) in pr...
Article
Full-text available
In Western cultures, human interactions are generally envisaged such that the agent appears on the left, the recipient on the right, with action flowing from left to right. Here we explore the joint influence of 2 mechanisms driving such spatial asymmetries: the embodiment of script direction and the order in which subject and object are mentioned....
Article
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Taxation is one of the most widely acknowledged strategies to reduce inequality, particularly if based on progressiv-ity. In a high-powered sample study (N = 2119) we inves-tigated economic inequality and conspiracy beliefs as two key predictors of tax attitude and support for progressive taxation. We found that participants in the high economic in...
Article
Full-text available
In Western cultures, human interactions are generally envisaged such that the agent appears on the left, the recipient on the right, with action flowing from left to right. Here we explore the joint influence of 2 mechanisms driving such spatial asymmetries: the embodiment of script direction and the order in which subject and object are mentioned....
Article
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people are supposed to be better at gaydar than heterosexual. Across two studies we examined auditory gaydar performed by LGB and heterosexual listeners. In Study 1 participants (n = 127) listened to male and female speakers (n = 10) and judged their sexual orientation on a binary choice (gay/lesbian vs. heterosexual...
Chapter
According to current embodied cognition models, sensorimotor experiences play a critical role in cognition, including social cognition. Since our bodies are embedded in a sociocultural context, it is likely that the link between bodily states and cognition is shaped and constrained by culture. Here we argue that culture affects embodied cognition t...
Preprint
Ideological bias has been a relevant issue in social psychology for the past 50 years. The investigations of collective action (CA), in particular, have mainly focused on left-oriented movements, leading to a knowledge gap on the antecedents of conservative CA. Furthermore, common measures of CA are typically characterised by two methodological lim...
Preprint
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In this paper, we argue that some fundamental concepts and tools of signal processing may be effectively applied to represent and interpret social cognition processes. From this viewpoint, individuals or, more generally, social stimuli are thought of as a weighted sum of harmonics with different frequencies: Low frequencies represent general catego...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the discussion about wage inequality, principles of fairness and need for incentives are juxtaposed as opposing motivations for wage inequality acceptance. While previous literature focused on ideal inequality, in two correlational studies and one preregistered experimental study (Ntotal = 664) we tested the hypothesis of a threshold of inequali...
Article
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The spatial agency bias predicts that people whose native language is rightward written will predominantly envisage action along the same direction. Two mechanisms contribute jointly to this asymmetry: (a) an embodied process related to writing/reading; (b) a linguistic regularity according to which sentence subjects (typically the agent) tend to p...
Article
In four studies, we test the hypothesis that people, asked to envisage interactions between an ingroup and an outgroup, tend to spatially represent the ingroup where writing starts (e.g., left in Italian) and as acting along script direction. Using soccer as a highly competitive intergroup setting, in Study 1 (N = 100) Italian soccer fans were foun...
Article
Verbs may be attributed to higher agency than other grammatical categories. In Study 1, we confirmed this hypothesis with archival datasets comprising verbs ( N = 950) and adjectives ( N = 2115). We then investigated whether verbs (vs. adjectives) increase message effectiveness. In three experiments presenting potential NGOs (Studies 2 and 3) or co...
Article
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Listeners rely on vocal features when guessing others’ sexual orientation. What is less clear is whether speakers modulate their voice to emphasize or to conceal their sexual orientation. We hypothesized that gay individuals adapt their voices to the social context, either emphasizing or disguising their sexual orientation. In Study 1 (n = 20 speak...
Article
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Where an object or person is located in space can communicate important attributes, such as power, agency, or status. We theorized that people may use location to convey messages about social groups. In four studies, we examined whether women and men express ingroup bias or stereotypical bias in their placement of and memory for gendered objects. I...
Article
People generally perceive a stronger link between smoking and cancer than between cancer and smoking. Generally, prior research on asymmetrical causal reasoning has not distinguished predictive (searching for effects) and diagnostic reasoning (searching for causes) from the order in which causes and effects are presented. Across 6 studies (overall...
Article
In three studies (total N = 239) we examined the unexplored question of whether voice conveying sexual orientation elicits stigma and discrimination in the context of adoption. Studies 1 and 2 were conducted in Italy where same-sex adoption is illegal and controversial. Study 3 was conducted in the United Kingdom where same-sex adoption is legal an...
Article
Utterances reveal not only semantic information but also information about the speaker’s social category membership, including sexual orientation. In four studies ( N = 345), we investigated how the meaning of what is being said changes as a function of the speaker’s voice. In Studies 1a/1b, gay- and straight-sounding voices uttered the same senten...
Article
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This research investigates how female students choose their graduation outfit and how clothing affects observers’ judgments. In Study 1, we manipulated the students’ graduation outfit so as to look professional or sexy. Female peers, adults, and professors formed a first impression about the students, their thesis work and guessed their graduation...
Article
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Serial positioning biases are well documented and generally take a U-shaped form, with better memory for first (primacy) and last items (recency). Here, we test the hypothesis that the relative strength of primacy and recency depends on script direction. When presented with large arrays of images, people are expected to first direct attention to th...
Article
Research on the accuracy of ‘gaydar’ judgments has burgeoned but rarely considered targets' perspectives on cues that signal a person's sexual orientation to others. We examined sexual majority and minority speakers' (N = 241) beliefs about the extent to which their voices act as a ‘gaydar’ clue to others, and speakers' desire to be so disclosed. M...
Article
It is a widespread belief that individuals are able to detect other people’s sexual orientation from vocal information alone (auditory gaydar). We argue that auditory gaydar, although often inaccurate, leads to stereotyping, avoidance, and discrimination of gay/lesbian-sounding speakers. Much like “social vision,” these voice-based inferences are d...
Article
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In this prologue to a special issue on intergroup communication, we highlight areas of intersection across its field. To start, we provide a brief history of the field, simultaneously highlighting 6 central principles guiding the work in this area. We then review 4 key themes—areas of intersection uniting the contributions in this special issue: (a...
Article
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Media often portray women as mere sexual objects, but to date no known research has explored relations between exposure to such media content and willingness to engage in collective action. In the present study, Italian participants (78 men; 81 women) were exposed to a nature TV documentary (Control video), a television clip portraying women as sex...
Article
Voice is a cue used to categorize speakers as members of social groups, including sexual orientation. We investigate the consequences of such voice-based categorization, showing that people infer stereotype-congruent disease likelihood on the basis of vocal information and without explicit information about the speaker’s sexual orientation. Study 1...
Article
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The growing body of literature on the recognition of sexual orientation from voice (“auditory gaydar”) is silent on the cognitive and social consequences of having a gay-/lesbian- versus heterosexual-sounding voice. We investigated this issue in four studies (overall N = 276), conducted in Italian language, in which heterosexual listeners were expo...
Article
Full-text available
Objectifying media may promote sexual harassment, including harassment proclivity and harassment conduct. In the current study, we showed that objectifying media affected people’s intervention when they witnessed a harassment episode. After exposure to objectifying TV or to a control video, Italian participants (N = 126) took part in what they beli...
Article
Full-text available
Basic grammatical categories may carry social meanings irrespective of their semantic content. In a set of four studies, we demonstrate that verbs—a basic linguistic category present and distinguishable in most languages—are related to the perception of agency, a fundamental dimension of social perception. In an archival analysis of actual language...
Article
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Past research has shown that gender equality can be promoted or hampered by language use. In many languages, such as Italian or French, the masculine form is used as a generic for mixedgender groups even when women are the majority. The alternative use of feminine generic plural forms, although promoting the cognitive inclusion of women, is general...
Article
According to the spatial agency bias model, in Western cultures agentic targets are envisaged as facing and acting rightward, in line with writing direction. In four studies of Italian participants, we examined the symbolic association between agency and the rightward direction (Study 1, N = 96), its spontaneous activation when attributing agency t...
Article
Full-text available
In many languages, masculine forms (e.g., German Lehrer, ‘teachers, masc.’) have traditionally been used to refer to both women and men, although feminine forms are available, too. Feminine-masculine word pairs (e.g., German Lehrerinnen und Lehrer, ‘teachers, fem. and teachers, masc.’) are recommended as gender-fair alternatives. A large body of em...
Article
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Five studies investigated the role of handedness and effort in horizontal spatial bias related to agency (Spatial Agency Bias, SAB). A Pilot Study (n = 33) confirmed the basic assumption that rightward writing requires greater effort from left- than from right-handers. In three studies, Italian students (n = 591 right-handed, n = 115 left-handed) w...
Article
Embodied social cognition refers to the relation between bodily states and higher cognitive processes regulating social behavior. It may operate bottom-up (with sensory-motor system affecting cognition) or top-down (with higher cognitive processing affecting motor responses and bodily feelings). After providing specific examples for both types of e...
Article
Empirical research had initially shown that English listeners are able to identify the speakers' sexual orientation based on voice cues alone. However, the accuracy of this voice-based categorization, as well as its generalizability to other languages (language-dependency) and to non-native speakers (language-specificity), has been questioned recen...
Article
Full-text available
Languages differ with respect to the standard order in which subject (S), object (O) and verb (V) are arranged. Two studies, using a translation paradigm and conducted in Italian and in English, tested whether the order in which S, O and V are mentioned in active sentences will impact the causal interpretation of the described event. We hypothesize...
Article
This research investigated the behavioural consequences of homophobic epithets. After exposure to either a category or a homophobic label, heterosexual participants allocated fictitious resources to two different prevention programmes: one mainly relevant to heterosexuals (Sterility Prevention), the other to homosexuals (AIDS-HIV Prevention). Respo...
Chapter
In this chapter, we argue that the way we read and write exerts a pervasive, subtle, and generally unacknowledged influence on social cognition. We propose a theoretical model, the Spatial Agency Bias (SAB), according to which human agency is envisaged following the script direction that is prevalent in a given cultural context (for instance, left...
Article
Full-text available
Although the phenomenon of social categorization is universal, we argue that different cultures promote different types of categorization and that this is associated with differential language practice. We predicted that, among Japanese (but not among Italian) participants, even a small age difference would be sufficient to trigger spontaneous cate...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The current archive analysis of articles published in Psychological Science in the first two years of its existence and 20 years later reveals 4 changes over time: 1) the number of authors per article has quadruplicated and single author articles have practically disappeared. 2) our analysis suggests that women are much more present among the autho...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The current archive analysis of articles published in Psychological Science in the first two years of its existence and 20 years later reveals 4 changes over time: 1) the number of authors per article has quadruplicated and single author articles have practically disappeared. 2) our analysis suggests that women are much more present among the autho...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The current archive analysis of articles published in Psychological Science in the first two years of its existence and 20 years later reveals 4 changes over time: 1) the number of authors per article has quadruplicated and single author articles have practically disappeared. 2) our analysis suggests that women are much more present among the autho...
Article
Presents a taxonomy of some of the main prejudice measures available to social psychologists, the decision dilemma regularly faced by researchers when selecting these measures, the need for a consideration of both situational and personality variables in the selection process, and open problems in the field. Measures discussed include traditional s...
Article
Full-text available
Objectification theory suggests that the bodies of women are sometimes reduced to their sexual body parts. As well, an extensive literature in cognitive psychology suggests that global processing underlies person recognition, whereas local processing underlies object recognition. Integrating these literatures, we introduced and tested the sexual bo...
Article
It is well established that the masculine form (MF) makes women invisible, yet little is known about which form of feminization represents the most appropriate alternative. In the present study, conducted in Italian language, the authors compared the MF (e.g., avvocato, lawyer) with two forms of feminization, namely, the asymmetrical and traditiona...
Article
Full-text available
The current studies investigate the effects of homophobic labels on the self-perception of heterosexual males, hypothesizing that when exposed to homophobic epithets, they are motivated to underline their masculinity and claim a distinctly heterosexual identity by taking distance from homosexuals and, to a lesser degree, from women. Heterosexual ma...
Chapter
Writing direction has surprising effects on social cognition. Such effects are addressed with a specific focus on languages written from left-to-right and right-to-left. The horizontal trajectory in which a language is written is related to cognitive spatial biases and to the representation of social targets. Specifically, social targets such as ma...
Article
Two experiments are reported comparing majority and minority influence on attitudinal (opinion) vs. objective (knowledge) tasks. The hypothesis that minority influence would decline on objective items was tested by exposing subjects either to a minority or majority influence source; the question under discussion was either objective (‘from which co...
Article
As a whole, this special issue demonstrates that the interaction we have with the environment shapes our cognition. Spatial boundaries turn into cognitive boundaries and spatial experiences into mental representations. At the theoretical level, the relation between space and cognition is becoming an exciting new field, as it allows the investigatio...
Article
FIREBREAKS is a nuclear war education game in which participants role play U.S. or Soviet advisors weighing possible military action in a simulated Persian Gulf conflict. As a consequence of the insights gained from the experience, game participants are expected to show (a) reduced nationalism, (b) reduced negativity toward the Soviets, (c) less re...
Article
This research investigated whether the psychological wellbeing of earthquake survivors two years after the traumatic event would vary as a function of type of temporary housing. A comparison of people assigned to containers, converted into mobile homes, vs. wooden dachas vs. a control group, that had not lost their homes in the earthquake, revealed...
Article
This study examined the effects of peer group rejection and a new group's norms on 7- and 9-year old children's intergroup attitudes. Children (N = 82) were rejected or accepted by an initial group, then accepted by a new group that had a norm of inclusion versus exclusion towards others. Results showed that rejected compared with accepted children...
Article
We propose that spatial imagery is systematically linked to stereotypic beliefs, such that more agentic groups are envisaged to the left of less agentic groups. This spatial agency bias was tested in three studies. In Study 1, a content analysis of over 200 images of male–female pairs (including artwork, photographs, and cartoons) showed that males...
Chapter
Language is found to influence various domains of social cognition and behavior. This chapter provides an overview of three functions of language in social cognition and highlights certain specific issues that exemplify the important role of language in our cognitive system and social life. First, the way in which language drives attention is analy...
Article
Social judgments necessarily carry evaluative connotations that may mask other dimensions of interest. With reference to bi-dimensional models of stereotype content, we analyzed the role of valence in the study of agency and communion. Because agency and communion are both positively evaluated dimensions, we hypothesize that valence may function as...
Article
A minimal group study examined the effect of peer group norms on children's direct and indirect bullying intentions. Prior to an inter-group drawing competition, children (N = 85) aged seven and nine years were assigned to a group that had a norm of out-group dislike or out-group liking. Results indicated that, regardless of group norms, the childr...
Article
Full-text available
Six studies (N = 491) investigated the inductive potential of nouns versus adjectives in person perception. In the first 5 studies, targets were either described by an adjective (e.g., Mark is homosexual) or by the corresponding noun (e.g., Mark is a homosexual) or by both (Study 3). The authors predicted and found that nouns, more so than adjectiv...
Article
Women are surprisingly underrepresented in the chess world, representing less that 5% of registered tournament players worldwide and only 1% of the world's grand masters. In this paper it is argued that gender stereotypes are mainly responsible for the underperformance of women in chess. Forty-two male–female pairs, matched for ability, played two...
Article
Full-text available
This presentation is an overview on the current situation of the scientific publishing industry at the national, international and world-wide level. Scholarly communication is the process of dissemination of the outcomes coming from research in universities, private organizations or institutions or research centres. These results are presented in t...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that the direction in which language is written in a given culture produces a subtle bias in the interpretation of human action. The same action (e.g., athletic performance or aggression) will be perceived as more forceful when the spatial trajectory corresponds to the habitual writing direction. In Study 1 (n = 72) Italian participants pe...