Research on visual attention triggered by face gender is still relatively sparse. In the present study, three experiments are reported in which male and female participants were required to estimate the midpoint of a line (i.e., the “line bisection task”): at each end of the line a face was presented. Depending on the experimental condition, faces could be of the same gender (i.e., two males or two females) or the opposite gender. Experiment 1 and 2 findings converged in showing that when a male face was presented at the right and a female face at the left endpoint of the line, a clear rightward bias emerged compared to the other experimental conditions, indicating that male faces captured attention more than female faces. Importantly, male faces used across Experiment 1 and 2 were rated as more threatening than female faces, suggesting that perceived level of threat may have been responsible for the observed bias toward the male face. Experiment 3 corroborated this hypothesis by finding an attentional bias toward the male face with high threat (angry) faces but not with low threat (smiling) faces.
Universities often offer support programs to assist first-year students with the transition from school to university. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different mentoring styles on mentee academic performance after one year and two years of study. Participants consisted of 828 psychology students who started their course of study in winter term 2006/07 or 2007/08 at the University of Vienna. 328 students from winter term 2007/08 participated in the peer mentoring program Cascaded Blended Mentoring (Leidenfrost …), in which they were supported by 48 student mentors (advanced students) in small groups. The mentoring groups were classified according to one of three mentoring styles described by Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schabmann, Carbon, and Spiel (2011): motivating master mentoring, informatory standard mentoring, and negative minimalist mentoring. Our data suggest that participants in the mentoring program performed better in their studies. Mentees from winter term 2007/08 achieved better average grades than non-mentees from winter term 2007/08. They passed a higher number of courses than non-mentees from winter term 2007/08 and students from winter term 2006/07. There was, however, no specific impact of the different mentoring styles on mentee academic performance.
What’s wrong with art fakes? We tested effects of art “forgery” on aesthetic appreciation and the quality of paintings in a multidimensional manner comprising cognitive and emotional variables: When naïve participants were exposed to replicas of works by renowned artists, information about the alleged authenticity status had a major effect on the perceived quality of the painting, and even on artist-associated values such as artist talent. All these variables were negatively influenced when depictions were labeled as copies compared to identical ones labeled as originals. Our findings show the importance of symbolic and personal values as modulators in art appreciation.
Empathy measures that involve both cognitive and affective aspects of empathy are scarce. The aim of the work presented in this paper was to develop an instrument for the assessment of both aspects of dispositional empathy in children aged eight to fourteen, based on a variety of existing measures and results from the validation of a first preliminary version.