Embodied Cognition: What it means to “Throw like a Girl”
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Drawing on basic principles of embodied cognition and feminist theory, Young’s hypothesis suggests that despite the purely physical, genetically-encoded differences between the sexes, one’s being a woman prevents her from achieving her full physical potential because, to some degree, she is constantly engaging in cognitive self-objectification.
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The idea of field dependence as cognitive style was one of the earliest of its kind, advanced by Herman Witkin in the 60’s. Empirical support for this gendered trend is quite extensive. Women are more likely to perceive themselves as continuous with their spatial environment, while men tend to perceive themselves as independently-moving, central agents within it (think: Sims character vs. first-person shooter). Unsurprisingly, this cognitive style suggests women are conditioned to be heavily context-driven when performing basic tasks. For instance, female performance in a clerical task seemed to be far more affected by whether their examiner appeared “approving” or “disapproving” throughout, reflecting a “greater attentiveness to the attitudes of those around them.”
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Lee, J. (2016). Embodied Cognition: What it means to “Throw like a Girl”. The Neuroethics Blog. Retrieved on , from http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2016/09/embodied-cognition-what-it-means-to.html