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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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