Ms. Representation: Are the parts worth more than the whole?

Did you know our brains see men as whole and women as parts? A 2012 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology suggests that our brains process the images of men and women differently. There are two ways — global processing and local processing. Global processing is when your brain identifies objects as a whole. For example, faces. While we know and remember faces in their entirety, we don’t always recognise noses or ears separately without the rest. Local processing focuses more on individual parts of an object. The study says that people (regardless of gender) process female images ‘locally’ (to identify body parts even when they are isolated) while male images were processed globally — a sign of objectification. In a nutshell, men are people, and women are parts.

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