Perception in a Social Context: Attention for Response-Functional Means

Tim W. Faber*, Kai J. Jonas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research on automatic behavior has shown how social category priming can activate unique responses toward such categories. Recently, the importance of the context in which social category members are perceived has been demonstrated for the response selection process. While response selection has been investigated, other dependent variables, such as visual attention processes, have yet not been tested. In line with top-down perception theories, visual attention plays an important role in response selection. The attention processes that precede response selection in social encounters remain unclear, namely which functional means are focused on to determine a response proper. We conducted two gaze-tracking studies in order to test how attention for context cues is influenced by changing environments. Our results show that context also determined attention to functional means for the behavioral response. Our study provides first evidence that contextualized social category primes affect visual attention for response functional means.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-314
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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