Children's gender categorization: An investigation of automatic processing

Mark Bennett, Fabio Sani, Nick Hopkins, Luisa Agostini, Lucilla Malucchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    It is suggested that previous research examining children's social categorization has relied on techniques which call upon controlled cognitive processes, chat is, processes under voluntary control. As such, this research may say little about children's spontaneous categorization of social information. The present study introduces an unobtrusive measure of categorization which enables examination of automatic processing with respect to gender categorization - the 'who said what!' technique (Taylor, Fiske, Etcoff, & Ruderman, 1978). A sample of 84 children aged between 7 and 12 years were presented with four photographs, two of boys and two of girls, together with 16 statements attributed to each of the children (i.e. four statements to each child). Subsequently, 16 statement cards each had to be assigned Eo a particular photograph to indicate 'who said what!' Children made significantly more within-gender errors than between-gender errors, indicating that they had spontaneously assimilated social information to gender-based categories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-102
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


    Dive into the research topics of 'Children's gender categorization: An investigation of automatic processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this