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How long does it take to judge a man’s sexual orientation?

via Gad Saad:

The bottom line is that people can judge a man’s sexual orientation accurately (i.e., above chance level), and can do so within as little as 50 milliseconds.

The study is:

People have proved adept at categorizing others into social categories, at least when the categorical distinction is perceptually obvious (e.g., age, race, or gender). There remain many social groups whose boundaries are less clear, however. The current work therefore tested judgments of an ambiguous social category (male sexual orientation) from faces shown for durations between 33 ms and 10,000 ms. The sexual orientation of faces presented for 50 ms, 100 ms, 6500 ms, 10,000 ms, and at a self-paced rate (averaging 1500 ms), was categorized at above-chance levels with no decrease in accuracy for briefer exposures. Previous work showing impression formation at similar speeds relied on consensus to determine the validity of judgments. The present results extend these findings by providing a criterion for judgmental accuracy—actual group membership.

Source: “Brief exposures: Male sexual orientation is accurately perceived at 50 ms” from Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 44, Issue 4, July 2008, Pages 1100-1105

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About Eric Barker