What's your Dunbar number?

Male or female?

Androgyne Is the face to the left of a man or a woman?  

Actually, the answer is neither.  The photo was generated by a computer programmed to produce an androgynous face.

It helped establish that our perceptions are influenced by our sense of touch.  

In a clever experiment, people were asked to categorize dozens of these photos as "male" or "female" while squeezing a rubber ball.  

Those who were squeezing a hard rubber ball, categorized the majority of photos "male." And, you guessed it, those squeezing a soft ball, said most of the photos were "female."  

Another experiment, in which the participants were told to write down their answers with enough pressure to make a carbon copy or lightly enough to avoid marking the paper underneath, had the same results.  

Add this to growing evidence that abstract concepts are grounded in sensory metaphors.  Our perceptions, it seems, are heavily influenced by external stimuli, from the smell of freshly baked bread to the weight of a book.

The theory is called "bodily cognition."




The comments to this entry are closed.