The inferential properties of linguistic categories: approaching the linguistic bias from a different angle

Ana-Maria Țepordei


The goal of this present study was to verify the convergence or equivalency of the linguistic bias and its consequent interpretation based on a double analysis of the linguistic variations in the free descriptions of concrete behaviors: linguistic abstraction levels vs. the frequencies of each linguistic category use. Participants were presented with cartoons depicting a female / male protagonist engaged in a single positive / negative, stereotype- / -incongruent behavior and were asked to shortly describe the scenes in their words. Analyzing the most frequently used linguistic categories and their specific inferential properties as proposed by the Linguistic Categories Model (LCM; Semin &
Fiedler, 1988), our intention was to go beyond the mere mean of abstraction level and see if the final interpretations were similar. The results support our general hypothesis: the two types of analysis may lead us to draw quite different conclusions regarding the linguistic bias present in the participants‘ free responses.

linguistic bias, linguistic categories, implicit causality, gender stereotypes

Ana-Maria Țepordei – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, E-mail:

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