What are the primary functions of social perception?
- To figure out whether you like/respect someone
- Liking: governed by warmth, sincerity, affiliation and friendliness
- Respecting: competency, agency, efficiency, skill, intellect and dominance
- These evaluations account for 95% of the variance of judgments made about others
How are warmth judgments made?
- Typically before judgments of competence
- These determine approach/avoidance tendencies
- Predict how positive or negative interpersonal judgments will be about someone
- When exposed to faces for 100ms, people judged the trustworthiness and warmth most effectively, followed by competence (Willis & Todorov 2006)
- We are more sensitive to information that disconfirms rather than confirms the warmth of another
How are competence judgments made?
- These determine how keen we are to approach or avoid someone
- More sensitive to information that disconfirms rather than confirms competence
- Help to dictate our behavioural responses to groups and people when combined with warmth evaluations
What are the dimensions of social perception?
- Cuddy & Fiske (2007)
- Levels of warmth and competence are combined to dictate how you view others
- Low levels of warmth but high levels of competence: seen as high status and competitive and are often envied by others
- Low levels of warmth and low levels of competence: seen as low status and competitive and are viewed with contempt
- High levels of warmth and low levels of competence: seen as low status and non competitive and are viewed with pity and paternalistic affection
- High levels of warmth and high levels of competence: seen as high status and non competitive and are viewed with admiration
Who first properly investigated person perception?
- Asch (1946)
- Gave people bios about fictional people involving adjectives such as intelligent, industrious etc as well as warm or cold depending on the condition
- Asked them to give their first impressions of them
- Warm and intelligent was seen as wise but cold and intelligent was seen as sly
- Warmth was the most important factor when forming opinions
How do warmth and competence judgments affect real world outcomes?
- Jurors fall victim to paternalistic stereotypes-Zebrowitz & McDonald (1991): Reviewed over 500 cases in small claims court, the more attractive one was, the more likely they were to win and the more baby faced one was, the more likely they were to win for cases based on actions (but not negligence)
- When viewing the faces of US congressman an evaluating their levels of competence, the ones ranked most competent predicted the outcome of the elections better than chance (Todorov et al, 2007)
- Children and adults rated pairs of faces from the french election race, played a game and were asked who they would want to captain their boat, the ones they chose were more likely to be elected (Antonakis & Dalgas, 2009)
How do we use faces to determine warmth and competence?
- Oosterhof & Todorov (2008)
- Participants showed faces ranging from hostile to submissive and from masculine to feminine
- Features resembling expressions signalling approach, happiness and avoidance behaviour were rated as being more warm
- Features signalling physical strength, high masculinity and low baby-facedness were seen as more competent
Which facial features are associated with trustworthiness?
- Oosterhof & Todorov (2008)
- High inner eyebrows
- Shallow indentation at the tip of the nose
- Pronounced cheekbones
- Wide chin
- People with the opposite features are seen as less trustworthy
How do we use posture to determine warmth and competence?
- High power and competence is associated with open and dominant posture as is warmth
- Closed off posture is associated with submission
- P's viewed videos of motion tracked normal and pain behaviour of a model and evaluated them on warmth, competence, physical fitness and mood
- People who displayed pain behaviour were rated as less warm and less competent as those who did not (Ashton-James, 2014)