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Composite images used in Study 5A: (A) rich Full Composites, (B) poor Full 

Composite images used in Study 5A: (A) rich Full Composites, (B) poor Full 

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Article
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Social class meaningfully impacts individuals’ life outcomes and daily interactions, and the mere perception of one’s socioeconomic standing can have significant ramifications. To better understand how people infer others’ social class, we therefore tested the legibility of class (operationalized as monetary income) from facial images, finding acro...

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Context 1
... other consisted of only the five most accurately categorized rich and poor targets within each group (Best Composites; M accurate categorizations = 68%, SD = 7%), which helped us to isolate the valid cues that the participants actually used to make their judgments. This resulted in 16 composite images (eight Best Composites and eight Full Composites), evenly split by social class, gender, and ethnicity (see Figure 4). ...

Citations

... Moreover, perceivers do categorize others according to social class along with other dimensions such as race (Weeks & Lupfer, 2004). In fact, people infer social class rapidly and accurately (Kraus et al., 2017) based on minimal facial cues (i.e., emotional expressions), and then use their stereotype-related impressions to make judgments (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017). ...
Article
The current research investigates the effect of a type of intergroup contact that has rarely been studied to date, class-based contact, on one’s personal contribution to inequality. We conducted two studies with middle and upper class individuals. We first longitudinally examined whether positive contact with working-class people reduces contribution to inequality (i.e., participants stating that they themselves contribute to maintaining the social hierarchy) whilst controlling for ideological factors. Lower levels of contribution to inequality were present in people with more and better contact, but the change over time was small in the absence of experimental manipulation. An experiment then showed that recall of positive (vs. negative) contact with working-class people reduced participants’ contribution to inequality and increased their willingness to participate in collective action for equality. These results suggest that facilitating spaces where members of different social classes can have positive interactions can contribute to reducing inequality.
... Empirical studies have shown that people are able to accurately categorize others into social classes based on various verbal and nonverbal cues very quickly (see (Kraus, Park, & Tan, 2017) for a review). Recent research has even suggested that social class can be accurately guessed from neutral facial expressions alone (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017) or short speech bites (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017;Kraus, Torrez, Park, & Ghayebi, 2019). This ability is observed in young children (Ramsey, 1991;Shutts, Brey, Dornbusch, Slywotzky, & Olson, 2016;Ahl, Duong, & Dunham, 2019). ...
... Empirical studies have shown that people are able to accurately categorize others into social classes based on various verbal and nonverbal cues very quickly (see (Kraus, Park, & Tan, 2017) for a review). Recent research has even suggested that social class can be accurately guessed from neutral facial expressions alone (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017) or short speech bites (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017;Kraus, Torrez, Park, & Ghayebi, 2019). This ability is observed in young children (Ramsey, 1991;Shutts, Brey, Dornbusch, Slywotzky, & Olson, 2016;Ahl, Duong, & Dunham, 2019). ...
Thesis
Diese Dissertation untersucht das Ausmaß der Spendenbereitschaft für Flüchtlinge und dessen individuelle sowie kontextuelle Korrelate unter einheimischen Deutschen zwischen Jahren 2015 und 2018. Die Dissertation enthält drei originäre empirische Beiträge. Im ersten empirischen Beitrag wird das Ausmaß des Spendenverhaltens für Flüchtlinge, seine regionale Variation und Veränderung im Zeitverlauf beschrieben. Das Kapitel beschreibt, wie Einstellungen und soziodemografische Merkmale mit Spenden für Flüchtlinge zusammenhängen. Ich stelle fest, dass die Spenden für Flüchtlinge besonders hoch waren bei Frauen, Menschen mit einer höheren sozioökonomischen Position und Personen mit einer positiven Einstellung zur Einwanderung. Im zweiten und dritten empirischen Beitrag werden mögliche kontextuelle korrelate für solche Spenden betrachtet. Dies wird erreicht durch die Kombination von individuellen Panelerhebungsdaten mit Sozialindikatoren auf Stadtteilebene. Die zweite empirische Studie prüft, ob das Geben an mit der Anwesenheit von Ausländern im Wohnumfeld korreliert ist. Umgebung korreliert. Es gibt keine robusten Beweise dafür, dass die Anwesenheit von verschiedenen Gruppen von Ausländern negativ mit Spenden für Flüchtlinge verbunden ist. Im letzten empirischen Kapitel wird untersucht, ob die ethnische Segregation auf Stadtebene und der Wohnsitz in den Clustern der Einheimischen negativ mit Spenden für Flüchtlinge verbunden ist. Einerseits wird manchmal eine negative Korrelation zwischen der Segregation auf Stadtebene und Spenden für Flüchtlinge festgestellt. Es gibt jedoch keine Hinweise darauf, dass Einheimische die in den Clustern der Einheimischen leben, weniger wahrscheinlich Flüchtlinge unterstützen.
... Other research has used verbal stimuli to test perception of social class, including Howard Giles and Caroline Sassoon (1983), who had college students mimic accents, and Michael Kraus et al. (2017) who had targets speak seven words, resulting in participants correctly identifying social class based on the accents of the speakers. There is variation across the literature in how researchers operationalize social class, with some relying on income (Bjornsdottir and Rule 2017;Lei and Bodenhausen 2017), and occupational status (Davis 1956), by asking participants "to which they belong (e.g., upper, middle, working)" (Adler et al. 2000), or by utilizing multiple measures (Kraus and Keltner 2009;Kraus and Keltner 2013). ...
... Thus, following the one paper showing perceivers' accuracy in judging income level from a facial photograph (Bjornsdottir and Rule 2017), combined with the fact that income and wealth are distinct constructs with different associated social outcomes, the present study seeks to examine whether people are precise in identifying class from appearance when defined by income and wealth. ...
Article
Full-text available
People's social class, and the perceptions of their social class are embedded in an institutional context that has important ramifications for one's life opportunities and outcomes. Research on first impressions has found that people are relatively accurate at judging a variety of traits such as perceived sexual orientation and income, but there is a paucity of research that investigates whether people are also accurate at judging wealth or class. In this article, we first investigate whether people understand the distinction between income and wealth (Study 1). Then, using a novel dataset, we examine whether people are accurate at identifying the income and wealth levels of individuals across racial and ethnic groups by facial cues alone (Study 2). We find that participants understand the meaning of income, but not wealth. Additionally, we find that perceivers categorize class more accurately than by sheer chance, using minimal facial cues, but perceivers are particularly inaccurate when categorizing high-income and high-wealth Black and Latinx subjects.
... While high-ranking individuals may express positive emotions more than low-ranking individuals across cultures (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017), cultural contexts may shape the type of positive emotions considered to be ideal. Tsai and her colleagues (2006) have shown that high arousal positive affect (e.g., excitement) is valued more in European American cultural contexts, whereas low arousal positive affect (e.g., calmness) is valued more in Asian cultural contexts. ...
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Social Hierarchy is one fundamental aspect of social living, structuring interactions in families, teams and entire societies. In this review, we put forward a cultural psychological approach to social hierarchy, positing that rank differences are embedded within larger cultural meaning systems, which shape how higher rank is attained or conferred and how social hierarchy affords behavior and psychology. We then examine manifestations of hierarchy in two cultural meaning systems: Western and East Asian cultures. Accumulating evidence on collective, interpersonal, and individual processes suggests cultural similarities in self-orientation but cultural differences in other-orientation of high-ranking individuals. Such literatures reveal how thought and behavior within social hierarchy and cultural beliefs, values and norms mutually constitute each other. We close with a discussion of how the present review is a stepping stone for future research and of remaining questions to further advance social hierarchy research across cultures.
... Other research has used verbal stimuli to test perception of social class, including Howard Giles and Caroline Sassoon (1983), who had college students mimic accents, and Michael Kraus et al. (2017) who had targets speak seven words, resulting in participants correctly identifying social class based on the accents of the speakers. There is variation across the literature in how researchers operationalize social class, with some relying on income (Bjornsdottir and Rule 2017;Lei and Bodenhausen 2017), and occupational status (Davis 1956), by asking participants "to which they belong (e.g., upper, middle, working)" (Adler et al. 2000), or by utilizing multiple measures (Kraus and Keltner 2009;Kraus and Keltner 2013). ...
... Thus, following the one paper showing perceivers' accuracy in judging income level from a facial photograph (Bjornsdottir and Rule 2017), combined with the fact that income and wealth are distinct constructs with different associated social outcomes, the present study seeks to examine whether people are precise in identifying class from appearance when defined by income and wealth. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
People’s social class, and the perceptions of their social class are embedded in an institutional context that has important ramifications for one’s life opportunities and outcomes. Research on first impressions has found that people are relatively accurate at judging a variety of traits such as perceived sexual orientation and income, but there is a paucity of research that investigates whether people are also accurate at judging wealth or class. In this article, we first investigate whether people understand the distinction between income and wealth (Study 1). Then, using a novel dataset, we examine whether people are accurate at identifying the income and wealth levels of individuals across racial and ethnic groups by facial cues alone (Study 2). We find that participants understand the meaning of income, but not wealth. Additionally, we find that perceivers categorize class more accurately than by sheer chance, using minimal facial cues, but perceivers are particularly inaccurate when categorizing high-income and high-wealth Black and Latinx subjects.
... Research consistently shows differences in judgment accuracy between personality traits: Extraversion, for example, is generally judged more accurately than neuroticism (Beer & Watson, 2008;Funder & Dobroth, 1987;John & Robins, 1993). Research in nonverbal behavior also shows wide variation in social judgment accuracy: Judgments of perceptually obvious group memberships like gender and race are highly accurate (Bruce et al., 1993;Fiske & Neuberg, 1990), whereas judgments of perceptually ambiguous group memberships like sexual orientation and social class show lower accuracy (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017;. What drives this variation? ...
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Ubiquitous to theories of social perception is an assumed relationship between an attribute’s (e.g., intelligence) “signal” and judgment accuracy, with accuracy impossible without the presence and consensual use of signal. Yet this foundational assumption remains untested. Our investigation focused on consensus (quantified using intraclass correlations, ICCs), which should suggest signal availability, according to theories of accurate social perception. Study 1 confirmed that judgments of different social attributes exhibit different degrees of consensus. Study 2 specifically tested the consensus → accuracy link, anticipating that social judgments with higher consensus (target ICCs) would show greater judgment accuracy. Using 497,780 judgments of 3,847 targets from 4,162 participants across 45 datasets testing a broad variety of social judgments, we found that consensus moderated the relationship between targets’ self-report and participants’ judgments: Judgment accuracy was higher when consensus was higher. Results show the first empirical support for a foundational assumption of theories of social perception.
... Dans toute la littérature examinée, nous avons seulement identifié deux stéréotypes à connotation positive. D'une part, on dit des personnes pauvres qu'elles sont souvent chaleureuses (Bjornsdottir et Rule, 2017). D'autre part, les enfants croient que les enfants pauvres sont plus humbles et jugent moins sévèrement les autres enfants. ...
... Dans la littérature, on ne souligne généralement pas de préjugés liés à des points spécifiques de l'apparence comme la chevelure ou la dentition par exemple. On dit plutôt des personnes pauvres qu'elles sont simplement malpropres (Bjornsdottir et Rule, 2017 ;Lott, 2002 ;Shildrick et MacDonald, 2013 ;Smith et al., 2013). Bien que cela ne soit pas précisé, on peut penser que le préjugé de la malpropreté est davantage l'apanage des hommes, car on s'imagine souvent que les jeunes femmes noires achètent beaucoup de produits cosmétiques. ...
... La paresse et le manque d'ambition ou de motivation sont sans doute les préjugés à l'égard des personnes en situation de pauvreté qui sont les plus souvent mentionnés dans la littérature (Bjornsdottir et Rule, 2017 ;Bryant, 2013 ;Bullock, 1999 ;Bullock et al., 2001 ;Clawson et Trice, 2000 ;Cozzarelli et al., 2002 ;Damer, 1974 ;De Marco et Kretzschmar, 2019 ;Dorey, 2010 ;Gilens, 1996 ;Kallio et Niemela, 2014 ;Lindqvist et al., 2017 ;Lott, 2002 ;Paterson et al., 2016;Phelan et al., 1997;Reutter et al., 2009 ;;Shildrick et MacDonald, 2013 ;Smith et al., 2013 ;Sturm, 2008 ;Wiese et al., 2019 ;Yeboah et al., 2016). Ce préjugé est sans doute fortement lié à la croyance que les opportunités d'emploi abondent. ...
... -.68; Mueller & Mazur, 1996;Muller & Mazur, 1997;Rule & Ambady, 2009). Regarding attractiveness, one prior study of adult faces identified attractiveness as a visual cue of social class in gray-scale images (Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017). Additionally, higher physical attractiveness judgments based on 10-s video clips were found to be associated with higher local sociometric status judgments for men but not women, suggesting that the association of some cues with status may differ by gender (Anderson et al., 2001). ...
... During the laboratory session, experimenters took one smiling facial photograph and one smiling full body photograph of each participant. Smiling images were used to rule out the possibility that subtle differences in emotion from neutral images may cue status and thereby isolate the roles of attractiveness and dominance as cues (e.g., Bjornsdottir and Rule, 2017). Participants were instructed to take a selfie of themselves in which they were smiling and were left alone for one minute with either their own phone or a phone provided by the experimenter. ...
Article
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Hierarchies naturally emerge in social species, and judgments of status in these hierarchies have consequences for social relationships and health. Although judgments of social status are shaped by appearance, the physical cues that inform judgments of status remain unclear. The transition to college presents an opportunity to examine judgments of social status in a newly developing social hierarchy. We examined whether appearances—as measured by raters’ judgments of photographs and videos—provide information about undergraduate students’ social status at their university and in society in Study 1. Exploratory analyses investigated whether associations differed by participants’ sex. Eighty-one first-year undergraduate students ( M age = 18.20, SD = 0.50; 64.2% female) provided photographs and videos and reported their social status relative to university peers and relative to other people in society. As hypothesized, when participants were judged to be more attractive and dominant they were also judged to have higher status. These associations were replicated in two additional samples of raters who evaluated smiling and neutral photographs from the Chicago Faces Database in Study 2. Multilevel models also revealed that college students with higher self-reported university social status were judged to have higher status, attractiveness, and dominance, although judgments were not related to self-reported society social status. Findings highlight that there is agreement between self-reports of university status and observer-perceptions of status based solely on photographs and videos, and suggest that appearance may shape newly developing social hierarchies, such as those that emerge during the transition to college.
... This could influence hiring outcomes in employment contexts, because perceived fit in an organization could partly depend on superficial resemblance to the existing members of the group, rather than on individuals' qualifications. Indeed, existing research points to the emphasis on cultural fit in hiring, which undoubtedly draws partly from appearance cues (e.g., Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017;Rivera, 2012;Rule et al., 2016). Appearance-based self-selection and gatekeeping might therefore constitute one set of mechanisms whereby organizations fail to hire employees from diverse backgrounds, despite the documented benefits of diversity (e.g., Herring, 2009). ...
Article
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People prefer to form relationships with people like themselves—a tendency that extends even to facial appearance, resulting in groups whose members look alike. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying homophilic resemblance using facial photos of fraternity/sorority members from two time points: before joining the group and after belonging to the group for three years. Analyses of both subjective trait impressions and objective face-shape measurements revealed that not only did group members look alike, they resembled one another even before joining the group. Moreover, photos of potential fraternity recruits revealed that facial appearance predicted both the group that individuals sought to join and the group’s likelihood of accepting them. Individuals, therefore, seek to join groups consisting of people who look like them, and the groups preferentially accept new members who resemble those already in the group. This bidirectional preference for homophily likely perpetuates intragroup homogeneity, suggesting potential implications beyond appearance.
... Nevertheless, ambient images may better capture behavioral tendencies than standardized face images. Future research could directly test this possibility (see Bjornsdottir & Rule, 2017). ...
Article
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Adults teach children not to "judge a book by its cover." However, adults make rapid judgments of character from a glance at a child's face. These impressions can be modestly accurate, suggesting that adults may be sensitive to valid signals of character in children's faces. However, it is not clear whether such sensitivity requires decades of social experience, in line with the development of other face-processing abilities (e.g., facial emotion recognition), or whether this sensitivity emerges relatively early, in childhood. An important theoretical question therefore, is whether or not children's impressions are at all accurate. Here, we examined the accuracy in children's impressions of niceness and shyness from children's faces. Children (aged 7-12 years, ∼90% Caucasian) and adults rated 84 unfamiliar children's faces (aged 4-11 years, 48 female, ∼80% Caucasian) for niceness (Study 1) or shyness (Study 2). To measure accuracy, we correlated facial impressions with parental responses to well-established questionnaires about the actual niceness/shyness of those children in the images. Overall, children and adults formed highly similar niceness (r = .94) and shyness (r = .84) impressions. Children also showed mature impression accuracy: Children and adults formed modestly accurate niceness impressions, across different images of the same child's face. Neither children nor adults showed evidence for accurate shyness impressions. Together, these results suggest that children's impressions are relatively mature by middle childhood. Furthermore, these results demonstrate that any mechanisms driving accurate niceness impressions are in place by 7 years, and potentially before. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).