Keywords: Attentional Bias; Dot-Probe Paradigm; Hemispheric Lateralization; Social Status; Social Cognition.
We investigated the possible presence of an attentional bias towards faces characterized by high or low social status using the dot-probe paradigm. Two faces, depicting individuals of high and low social status, appeared rightwards and leftwards with respect to a central fixation spot. After 50 ms a probe appeared in the same spatial location previously occupied by one of the two faces. The results showed that participants were faster to respond when the probe appeared in the same location previously occupied by a low status face, but only in the left hemifield. These data confirm the notion that social status represents an index that can modulate attentional processes and are in line with the hypothesis according to which the right cerebral hemisphere would be favored in processing facial stimuli.