The gender composition of highly available, naturally acquired memories for famous people was investigated in four field studies and three experiments with predominantly Caucasian children and adults. When memory was probed with only a linguistically gender-neutral retrieval cue (“famous people”), both male and female participants recalled significantly more famous men than famous women. Adding a gender-inclusive retrieval cue (“men or women”) significantly attenuated this androcentric recall effect for men and completely eliminated it for women. Women also recalled famous women just as rapidly as they recalled famous men in an experiment that utilized gender-specific cues (“famous men” “famous women”). Regardless of how memory was probed, large gender of participant effects were consistently observed. Gendercentric processing of androcentric cultural data is proposed as an explanation for the pattern of results observed here, and limitations and implications of this research are noted.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2004
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