Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dressing down: Can this actually boost your social status?

Date:
February 11, 2014
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
From wearing a suit to a wedding to donning a tie for a job interview, American society has established unspoken rules for dress codes and proper etiquette. But there's always that one guy who wears the bright socks or the obnoxious bow tie. According to a new study, this type of behavior has the potential to increase a person's perceived success.

From wearing a suit to a wedding to donning a tie for a job interview, American society has established unspoken rules for dress codes and proper etiquette. But there's always that one guy who wears the bright socks or the obnoxious bow tie. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, this type of behavior has the potential to increase a person's perceived success.

"We proposed that, under certain conditions, nonconforming behaviors can be more beneficial to someone than simply trying to fit in. In other words, when it looks deliberate, a person can appear to have a higher status and sense of competency," write authors Silvia Bellezza, Francesca Gino, and Anat Keinan (all Harvard University).

Across five laboratory and field studies, the authors looked at the role of nonconformity in different populations. The collective results suggest that people attribute higher status and competence to individuals who are nonconforming (rather than conforming) in prestigious contexts with expected norms of formal conduct.

In one study, students were asked to rank the perceived professional status of a professor who was employed at either a local college or a top-tier university and who was either clean-shaven and in a business suit or who had a beard and was wearing a t-shirt. As the researchers predicted, the students attributed significantly more status and competence to the unshaven professor at the top-tier university.

Both niche and mainstream brands interested in the role of nonconformity in advertising can capitalize on the growing demand for clothes and accessories that signal intentional nonconformity. Further, nonconforming brands that are associated with premium prices may signal that the nonconforming individual can afford conventional status symbols.

"A key question for companies is to understand how consumers can demonstrate that they are intentionally not conforming through brands and products. In other words, 'what makes nonconformity seem more intentional?'" the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Silvia Bellezza, Francesca Gino, and Anat Keinan. The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2014

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Dressing down: Can this actually boost your social status?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211094254.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2014, February 11). Dressing down: Can this actually boost your social status?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211094254.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Dressing down: Can this actually boost your social status?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211094254.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins