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Pré-Publication, Document De Travail Année : 2023

What does your face tell me about you? Evidence of a hierarchy in the social categorization of faces

Résumé

Social categorization is probably the most important mechanism identified in social psychology. We group the people with whom we interact into various social categories, which allows activating beliefs about them to adapt our social interactions. Here we tackle the fundamental question of how we process when multiple category memberships are available such as gender, ethnicity, age, and familiarity, with the hypothesis that all categories are activated in parallel and compete with each other, creating a hierarchy in our categorical perception. To analyze multiple categories processing, we adapted the Free Sorting Task (FST) to human face categorization. Based on nearly 150 participants, our hierarchical clustering analysis based on principal components coupled with multiple correspondence analysis clearly defines a hierarchy in social categorization, namely first age, then gender, and subsequently ethnicity and familiarity, nearly equally. Further, we demonstrated that emotion in facial expressions overwhelmingly outperforms all social information without changing the hierarchical order of the other social categories. Firstly, our adaptation of the FST allowed us to demonstrate how multiple categories are represented, which until now has been highly problematic in social psychology. Secondly, our results contradict the dogma that social category information is used before emotion categorization, and they demonstrate that during the conscious categorization task and in the case of multiple memberships, the social attributes of a human face, including emotion, are represented hierarchically.

Domaines

Psychologie
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Dates et versions

hal-04310666 , version 1 (30-11-2023)

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Kuzma Strelnikov, Pascal Gaillard, Justin Terrace, Olivier Deguine, D. Pins, et al.. What does your face tell me about you? Evidence of a hierarchy in the social categorization of faces. 2023. ⟨hal-04310666⟩
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