Occupational Stereotype: Up-Down Spatial Embodiment of the Competence Content
A. Lu, Y. Yu, M. Zhang, L. Chang, & B. Liang
Previous studies have documented the centrality of the two basic dimensions of warmth and competence in stereotype. This study aims at further investigating the embodiment of the competence content, by testing whether occupational words with high/low competence can activate spatial image schema. A modified version of the spatial cuing paradigm was used in which participants first indicated whether an occupational word represented a mental or manual occupation (e.g., scientist or farmer), and then carried out an arrow direction judgment task (Experiment I) or a letter identification task (Experiment 2). It was shown that the mere processing of occupations with high/low competence both primed upward/downward arrow judgments and oriented attention to the higher/lower area of visual space, respectively. The interpretation of the results indicated that the competence dimension of stereotype automatically refers to vertical space, suggesting the embodiment of the competence content.

Key words: occupational stereotype, competence, metaphor, visual spatial attention