Responses in a current trial are biased by the stimulus and response in the preceding trial. In a mixed-category sequence, the sequential dependency is weaker when the stimuli of the current and preceding trials fall under different categories. In the present study, we investigated the influence of the gender membership of faces on the sequential dependency. Forty-eight pictures of male and female faces were presented successively. Participants rated the attractiveness, roundness, or intelligence of each face on a 7-point scale. The sequential effect was robustly observed, irrespective of the property to be judged. However, between-gender sequential dependency was weaker than within-gender dependency only in the attractiveness judgment. These findings suggest that the gender of faces serves as a cue for forming category representations when face attractiveness is of interest, and hence that the formation of categories in sequential decisions is an adaptive process that depends on the property to be judged.
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