This question occured to me as I was walking along the street today. I saw two fashionable-looking women on the street ahead of me. One of them pointed to something outside of my field of view, and said "Oh look, Katy's Boutique!" When I turned to look, I saw no boutique, but I did see a branch of the bank HSBC, which made me realize that the woman must have said "Oh look, HSBC!"
Now, maybe I'm wrong here, but I can't imagine that I would have heard "Katy's Boutique" if I had seen two men rather than two women. It seems that my preconceptions caused me to interpret the same stimuli differently.
Have any studies been done on this? How well known is the effect, and can we say anything quantitative about it?