Abstract Previous research on status and power has indicated both havepositive effects on judged dominance, while power alone has a negative effecton perceived warmth. (Fragale, A.
R). Thepresent study examines the differentiatingsocial judgements of people where gender and status is concerned, emphasisingthe influence gender has. 89 students from the University of Brightonparticipated in the study, where each participant was given a description of aperson, with different conditions regarding a high status individual or lowstatus individual and matching with three gender conditions – male, female oranonymous. Each student rated the extentthey believed the description of the person matched to various characteristicsrepresenting warmth. The essential findings suggest there is some significance inregard to status on a person’s perceived warmth, however there is nosignificant difference when regarding genders effect on perceived warmth. IntroductionThe importance of status has been a consistentphenomenon throughout history whereby we have been forever concerned with our socialstanding, so commonplace in every society that quests for power and status havebeen described as fundamental human motives (Frank, 1985; McClelland,1975; Winter, 1973). Status relates to the admiration and the”respect one has in the eyes of others” (Magee and Galinsky, 2008) and it’s a considerably different concept to power inthat the latter is not recognised or deemed as ”social honor” whereas theformer is (when considering power economically it does not increase respect)(Lemert 2004:116). Underpinning thecurrent study, Fragales study focused on power and status and the effect it hason perceived warmth.
In experiment one of this study participants of 100 U.Sundergraduate students (43% male) categorised the social judgements of variousoccupations differing in power and status, where these 12 occupations wererated on 8 dominance traits, and 8 warmth traits. Results suggest occupationsof high power, low status were perceived as cold whereas occupations of highpower, high status were perceived as warm and dominant. Furthermore, low power,low status individuals were determined somewhat submissive and especially warm.Experiment 2 was designed as a replication of the first experiment, where 114undergraduate students were given an extract of a high or low statusindividual who was named ‘L’ of whomreferred to as male, female, or anonymous and were asked to rate the extent ofdominance and warmth(Fragale, Overbeck & Neale, 2011. Results illustratethat increase in power means warmth decreases, contrasting to where statusincreased, warmth increased.
This research proposes that power differs fromstatus in their effects on perceived warmth, and it is essential that they aredistinguished in their meanings. It also highlights traits of the low statusindividual as being”submissive” and warmer, thus making sense of futureresearch to discover whether factors concerning less dominant individuals issignificant. Research investigating differences in behaviour of men and womenon gender-linked tasks found that on the masculine task men showed morepower-related verbal and nonverbal behaviour than women. However, during thefeminine task women demonstrated more verbal and non-verbal power-relatedbehaviour on most of the tasks than men. On the non-gender task men displayedincreased power both verbally and nonverbally than women.
The study conveys howclosely men and women are assigned to their gender roles, and therefore menfeel the need to match assertiveness(Ridgeway(2001) .Women smiled more than menacross all conditions and men were more likely to display the chin thrustaction (Ridgeway 2001) Genderdifferences in smiling is greater when our understanding of gender-appropriatebehaviour is not rationalised, evident in the fact that there is astatistically significant tendency for women to smile more than men (LaFrance,Hecht and Paluck, 2003)These beliefs inhibit women from being assertiveleaders because it violates expectations of power where they are expected to beless assertive. Therefore, if women are not powerful (or at least do notexhibit power related behaviour) then Fragales previous research suggests thattheir chances of being perceived as warmer are greater, due to power beingassociated with low warmth. This brings us to whether men and women aredifferent in regards to status which Fragale associated with high warmth.
Warmth referes to “one’s intentions towardsothers”, including traits such as cooperation and respectfulness(Fiske, 2012). Astudy consisting of 253 undergraduate students included an evaluativequestionnaire for the university course, that included teachers performance,context of student teacher contact, and found that female teachers wereperceived as warmer and more influential, but were expected to offer betterinterpersonal support and were judged more precisely than male intructors inproviding it(Bennett, 1982) suggests that females in aposition of respect are influential and are perceived as warmer in thesesituations. Womenmay be more inclined for status as they “are prescribed to be communal, thatis, connected with others” (Delacollette, Dumont, Sarlet & Dardenne, 2012)therefore it is expectations of society that can pedict precieved warmth, womenare expected to be more communal and connected with others and prefer status overpower as it regards more respect and trust, something women would be used to.Therefore, the previous literature concludeshypothesis 1 and 2 that will predict the outcome of the study. H1) Individualsof high status will be perceived as warmer than low status individuals(H2) Individualsthat are female will be perceived as warmer than male individuals, MethodsParticipant89Psychology undergraduate students participated in the study whilst attendingtheir seminars, 78 of them female, 10 male, and 1 anonymous participant whochose not to mention their gender. They were either of UK residence or studyingin the UK. Participants were ranging from 19 years of age to 49 years of agewith the mean age of 21.59 years (SD=5.
13) Materials and DesignAn independentmeasures design was utilised which consists of each participant is only in onecondition of the independent variable (Alleydog.com, 2018). Of the status condition, 45participants were given the person with high status and 43 were given lowstatus. The different gender conditions were matched with either high status orlow status, which included 30 participants assigned the male gender, 30participants assigned the female gender, whilst the other 29 assigned the unspecifiedgender. Procedure The study was takenin the student’s psychology seminar classroom environment.
The course tutorhanded each student similar descriptions at random where status and gender conditionswere different. Of these descriptions, each included the fictional characternamed ‘L’. The seminar tutor declared students should complete thequestionnaire regarding warmth traits of the descriptive individual specificallyvia a scale of 1-5. Ethically speaking the study made sure to prioritise theright to withdraw by asking the participant to include their student number forremoval purposes. The tutor handed out consent forms to make each student awareof the proceedings. Participants wereinstructed by the tutor to read a short description of a fictional person andthen make some judgements about that person by filling out a shortquestionnaire. Consent forms were collected and participants informed of theirright to withdraw at any point, noting their candidate number if they shouldwish to be removed from the system.
Participants were then given an extract toread about a person called ‘L’, which allocated them to a status and gendercondition (see Appendix A). Following on from this, participants were asked tocomplete a questionnaire which measured attitudes towards ‘L’, where they wereto rate how likely is was for ‘L’ to possess certain characteristics, using a 5point Likert scale. Reverse scoring methods were applied to the last fewquestions, and a warmth score was calculated from combining all the questions,with the minimum score being 8 and maximum as 40. ResultsA Kolmogorov-Smirnovtest was used showing all six conditions for perceived warmth were normallydistributed (p>.05). The Levene’stest was non significant, p=.303, which suggests the data has homogeneity ofvariance and normality.
A two way independent analysis of variance (ANOVA) wascarried out on the data; 3 (unspecified, female, male) x 2 (high status, lowstatus) design was used. As a result, there was a significant main effect ofstatus on perceived warmth, F(1,83)=126.84, p<.001. The data indicated highstatus, (n=46), successfully predicted high warmth scores, (M=32.98, SD=4.27),while low status, (n=43) successfully predicted low warmth scores, (M=21.02,SD=5.
7). However, there was a non significant main effect of gender onperceived warmth, F(2, 83)=1.03, p=.360, nor was there a significantinteraction effect between status and gender on perceived warmth, F(2,83)=1.52, p=.225. Descriptive Statistics can be found in Appendix C, while allSPSS output is under Appendix D.
DiscussionThecurrent study demonstrates the significant effect of status on warmth, where we can draw conclusionsthat if an individual is higher in status then they are higher in warmth,and ifthey are lower in status then they re lower in warmth. These conclusions correlatesto previous literature in particular the research of Fragale. As a result ofthe current study, we may succesfully accept hypothesis 1.