Malia Mason

Male susceptibility to attentional capture by power cues

Coauthor(s): Shu Zhang, Rebecca Dyer.


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The present investigation explores the possibility that power has increased salience among males but not females. Evidence indicates that stimuli that are self-relevant or related to chronic goals are more likely to capture attention than neutral information. Across three studies we explore the possibility that the premium males place on power influences how they attend to their environment. Consistent with the common belief that power more readily captures their attention, results indicate that males "dwell" longer on power-related cues (Experiment 1) and are more subject to distraction by task-irrelevant power cues (Experiment 2) than are females. Experiment 3 demonstrates that this increased salience has enduring social consequences by increasing the likelihood that males commit power-relevant material to memory.

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Source: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Exact Citation:
Mason, Malia, Shu Zhang, and Rebecca Dyer. "Male susceptibility to attentional capture by power cues." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46 (2010): 482-485.
Volume: 46
Pages: 482-485
Date: 2010