Men Recognize Cars and Women Recognize Living Things Best, Psychological Analysis Finds

Picture: Lewis Clarke (CC)

You know, because women evolved as the hunters and men evolved as the drivers.  Via ScienceDaily:

Women are better than men at recognizing living things and men are better than women at recognizing vehicles.

That is the unanticipated result of an analysis Vanderbilt psychologists performed on data from a series of visual recognition tasks collected in the process of developing a new standard test for expertise in object recognition.

“These results aren’t definitive, but they are consistent with the following story,” said Gauthier. “Everyone is born with a general ability to recognize objects and the capability to get really good at it. Nearly everyone becomes expert at recognizing faces, because of their importance for social interactions. Most people also develop expertise for recognizing other types of objects due to their jobs, hobbies or interests. Our culture influences which categories we become interested in, which explains the differences between men and women.”

The results were published online on Aug. 3 in the Vision Research journal in an article titled, “The Vanderbilt Expertise Test Reveals Domain-General and Domain-Specific Sex Effects in Object Recognition.”

“Our motivation was to assess the role that expertise plays in object recognition with a new test that includes many different categories, so we weren’t looking for this result,” said Professor of Psychology Isabel Gauthier. She directs the lab where post-doctoral fellow Rankin McGugin conducted the study.

“This isn’t the first time that sex differences have been found in perceptual tasks. For example, previous studies have shown that men have an advantage in mental rotation tasks. In fact, a recent study looking only at car recognition found that men were better than women but attributed this to the male advantage in mental rotation. Our finding that women are better than men at recognizing objects in other categories suggests that this explanation is incorrect.”

Discovery of the sex effect in object recognition also casts doubt on several studies that claim an individual’s ability to recognize faces is largely independent of his or her ability to recognize objects.

“Face recognition abilities are exciting to study because they have been found to have a clear genetic basis,” said Gauthier, “and many studies conclude that abilities in face recognition are not predicted by abilities in object recognition. But this is usually based on comparing faces to only one object category for men and women.”

It took the multi-category analysis to reveal that face recognition abilities are correlated to the ability to recognize different object categories for men and women. For example, men who are better at recognizing vehicles also tend to be better at recognizing faces, while women who are better at recognizing living things tend to be better at recognizing faces.

Read more here.

, , ,

  • Rev. Good Hair

    It’s so women can recognize when the baby is hungry and men can drive to Mexico to avoid child support.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    This is one of those things that, while it might be true, is probably only a socially induced phenomena and not a natural outcome of differences between the genders

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

      it could be social conditioning
      but it’s clear that genders do have different perspectives
      and that these differences are complimentary when used by a group

      for example
      in the Iroquois Nation, men were elected to political office by women
      and could be impeached by women too
      Vive la différence

      • Jin The Ninja

        iroquois and mohawk governance is very interesting. quite different from the cree and plains nations just to the west, but worthwhile to anyone interested in direct or grassroots democracy.

  • GunDude

    Just another example of the trashing of the male. Watch your half hour sitcom, the guy is usually an uncaring jock, and she’s the only smart one. Oh, and there should be a daughter back talking, sassing, and back-stabbing the father too.
    Tell Vanderbilt to do study on the dumb-blond theory……. and have it funded by GQ.

  • GunDude

    Just another example of the trashing of the male. Watch your half hour sitcom, the guy is usually an uncaring jock, and she’s the only smart one. Oh, and there should be a daughter back talking, sassing, and back-stabbing the father too.
    Tell Vanderbilt to do study on the dumb-blond theory……. and have it funded by GQ.

  • me

    “Men Recognize Cars and Women Recognize Living Things Best, Psychological Analysis Finds”

    it is bullshit.
    it is just is like that, cause of stereotyping peoples’ minds from A VERY YOUNG AGE.
    mind programming. just that.
    man = technical warrior, woman = sensitive princess

    i mean.
    i am a man, and i recognize ALL living things. and i am interested in them.
    and i hate cars.

    am i stupid or what.
    i think these kind of studies are stupid.

21
More in Gender, neurosciece, Psychology
UFO Experiences and Religion: Meet ET and Lose JC (Maybe)

Mystical experiences often make people re-examine their belief systems. From Saul of Tarsus to Joan of Arc, a single glimpse at a mysterious light or the sound of a disembodied...

Close