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The gender difference in gaze-cueing: Associations with empathizing and systemizing

Journal article
Authors N. Alwall
D. Johansson
Stefan Hansen
Volume 49
Issue 7
Pages 729-732
ISSN 0191-8869
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 729-732
Language en
Keywords sex-differences, individual-differences, fetal testosterone, asperger-syndrome, social cognition, quotient eq, attention, behavior, autism, adults
Subject categories Psychology


The gaze-cueing effect refers to the phenomenon that another person’s gaze direction transiently moves an observer’s attention in the corresponding direction. It has been reported that women show a stronger gaze-cueing effect than men (Bayliss, di Pellegrino, & Tipper, 2005). The present study confirmed this gender difference, females showing a larger cueing effect (i.e. a shortening of reaction times) than males, particularly at 300 ms viewing times. A multivariate procedure identified items from the Empathy- and Systemizing Quotient self-reports (Baron-Cohen, 2003) which together related significantly to the gaze-cueing effect, such that an enhanced tendency to empathize was associated with a larger gaze-cueing effect. This result is in line with the finding (Bayliss et al., 2005) of diminished gaze-cueing in people reporting many autistic-like traits such as reduced empathizing.

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