Bodily Cues of Sex and Emotion Can Interact Symmetrically: Evidence From Simple Categorization and the Garner Paradigm

Belinda M. Craig*, Ottmar V. Lipp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Although much research has investigated how multiple sources of social information derived from faces are processed and integrated, few studies have extended this investigation to bodies. The current study addressed this gap by investigating the nature of the interaction between bodily cues of sex and emotion. Using the Garner paradigm, participants recruited from a university student participant pool categorized the sex or the emotional expression (happy and angry in Experiment 1 [n=194], angry and sad in Experiment 2 [n= 129]) of bodies across two block types. In orthogonal blocks, participants categorized bodies along one dimension while the second dimension was varied (e.g., categorizing the sex of happy and angry bodies), whereas in control blocks the second dimension was held constant (e.g., categorizing the sex of only happy bodies). Responses were analyzed in two ways. Comparing response times across blocks revealed Garner interference (overall faster categorization in the control than in the orthogonal block) of sex on emotion perception and emotion on sex perception in Experiment 1 but not Experiment 2. Comparing condition level responses in orthogonal blocks indicated that sex cues moderated emotion categorization and emotion cues moderated sex categorization in both experiments. A symmetrical interaction between bodily sex and emotion cues can be observed in simple categorization as well as in the Garner paradigm, though the presence of Garner interference depended on the valence of the expressions used. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Early online date1 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2023


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