Title is very vague so I'll explain what I mean. Let's say an experiment was carried out involving grammatically gendered artefacts and whether or not participants will attach gendered stereotypes to those artefacts, and they DON'T. There's no bridge = strong or = beautiful or whatever. But then another experiment is carried out, also testing grammatical gender through a different (still implicit) means and there IS a relativity effect. If we put aside unintended effects of the experiment, could it be that attaching stereotypes occurs later in information processing and that's why it was less likely to be influenced by the grammatical gender than, say, a different implicit measure which might occur before the stereotype activation?

This is a bit of a long-winded way of asking whether there's an order of information activation in the brain. I'm researching psycholinguistics but am better at the linguistics part than the psych part unfortunately if you couldn't tell!

1 Answer 1


At a very superficial and general level, it is well-known that there is an order of information activation in the brain. A common example is that you go to a conference and hear a talk on some topic. The auditory experience of the sounds hitting your ear is rather immediate, your processing of the logical structure of the claim and accessing the counterexamples which you know of that refute the claim often happens often a number of minutes after the question period is over.

On the other hand, this doesn't mean that there is some kind of built-in ordering to information, instead an observed order probably relates to how long it takes to process a particular kind of information.

If you run the exact same procedure on two randomly selected subject pools, you expect the results to be the same. If you run slightly different procedures on two subject pools, and you get different results, there are many explanations for that difference. One of them is that the procedures are somehow cognitively different in terms of what causes subject responses, and another is that your are mistaken in your belief that certain kinds of responses demonstrate that subjects "(do not) attach gendered stereotypes to those artifacts". This is the fundamental challenge of experimental design: how do you know what causes an observed effect. We'd need more information about the planned experiments to comment on why one might be gefting different results.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.