The Relevance of People Versus Objects in Explaining Females' Advantage over Males in Appearance Accuracy

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Abstract

Do females remember their surroundings better than males? Does it matter who or what is in those surroundings? In small groups, 108 undergraduates from a Midwestern university in the USA were instructed to pay attention to a videotaped person (target) while seated in an office with an experimenter (non-target). Afterwards, in a surprise recall task, participants' memory for the appearance of the target, non-target, and office was tested. Females' greater interpersonal orientation was predicted to give them an advantage over males in memory for only the people. Results showed that females had better memory for the target and non-target but not the office. Discussion centers on the importance of people versus objects in explaining females' greater appearance accuracy.

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