Recent research found that sexualized bodies are visually processed similarly to objects. This article examines the effects of skin-to-clothing ratio and posture suggestiveness on cognitive objectification. Participants were presented images of upright versus inverted bodies while we recorded the N170. We used the N170 amplitude inversion effect (larger N170 amplitudes for inverted vs. upright stimuli) to assess cognitive objectification, with no N170 inversion effect indicating less configural processing and more cognitive objectification. Contrary to Hypothesis 1, skin-to-clothing ratio was not associated with cognitive objectification (Experiments 1-3). However, consistent with Hypothesis 2, we found that posture suggestiveness was the key driver of cognitive objectification (Experiment 2), even after controlling for body asymmetry (Experiment 3). This article showed that high (vs. low) posture suggestiveness caused cognitive objectification (regardless of body asymmetry), whereas high (vs. low) skin-to-clothing ratio did not. The implications for objectification and body perception literatures are discussed.
- configural and analytic processing
- revealing clothing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology