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Social Psychology: How accurate is your 'Gaydar'?

Joseph Sparks

25th January 2017

When we meet someone for the first time, we size them up. Within seconds we determine their sex, race, age, social class and many other characteristics. We also determine whether or not we like someone, and whether they are trustworthy.

Interestingly, recent research described by Canadian Psychology Nicholas Rule, suggests that people can determine sexual orientation (from a 10 second video clip) at a rate above chance. Rule suggests that there are four sets of non-verbal cues that provide certain cues, including: adornment, actions, acoustics and appearance (the 4 A's).

To read more about these cues or the full article, click here.

Reference: Rule, N. O. & Alaei, R. (2016). “Gaydar”: The perception of sexual orientation from subtle cues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 444-448.

Joseph Sparks

Joseph is a Subject Advisor for Psychology at tutor2u. He is an experienced Psychology & Music Teacher, Writer, Examiner and Presenter. He is currently completing a Professional Doctorate in Education and is passionate about the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

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