In academia and elsewhere, as we have noted many times, there are biased reactions that one can trigger through being identified as a woman. The general mechanism might be the same for, say, Asians, but the specifics might well be different.
There are other biasing reactions that women and Asians together might trigger that would have much more of the same content. We’ve looked at these less, but we did note that insiders have considerable advantages over outsiders at least because the good performances of insiders tend to be remembered more positively for longer periods of time.
We’re grateful to reader L.A. for sending us another example. Things that are easier to process are ranked better on scales of truthfulness, liking and so on:
Uniting the Tribes of Fluency to Form a Metacognitive Nation
Alter & Oppenheimer
Processing fluency, or the subjective experience of ease with which people process information, reliably influences people’s judgments across a broad range of social dimensions. Experimenters have manipulated processing fluency using a vast array of techniques, which, despite their diversity, produce remarkably similar judgmental consequences. For example, people similarly judge stimuli that are semantically primed (conceptual fluency), visually clear (perceptual fluency), and phonologically simple (linguistic fluency) as more true than their less fluent counterparts. The authors offer the first comprehensive review of such mechanisms and their implications for judgment and decision making. Because every cognition falls along a continuum from effortless to demanding and generates a corresponding fluency experience, the authors argue that fluency is a ubiquitous metacognitive cue in reasoning and social judgment.
My library doesn’t have the article on line yet, and I’m hesitant to do much interpreting without reading. But even the abstract is very interesting. Facility in processing causes (to some extent) more positive reaction. I’m pretty sure this has been found to hold true in other areas, such as art. Over some range of cases, the brain’s reaction to the familiar and the pleasurable can be at least very similar, if I’m remembering correctly.
In any case, women giving papers, for example, might be well advised to try to think about how to present their work to moderate the problems the lack of familiarity of their person and their ideas present.
Or not. At what point does one decide it isn’t worth it? What do you think?