The Role of Clothing in Extended Inferences

Jane E. Workman, Kim K P Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was (1) to examine whether interpretative inferences about others, made on the basis of their clothing, go beyond personal char acteristics to include extended inferences about the company for which an individual works, and (2) to determine whether these extended inferences were correlated with the interpretative inferences. The study utilized a 2 × 2 between‐ subjects factorial design with two levels of clothing—appropriate and inappropri ate—and two levels of sex of subject (male, female). Volunteer subjects (354 undergraduates) viewed a photograph of a bogus taxicab driver, appearing in either appropriate or inappropriate clothing, and made inferences about his per sonality characteristics and abilities and the characteristics of the company, in this case the city, for which he worked. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance and Pearson's product moment correlation. Results indicated that a driver dressed in appropriate clothing elicited favorable inferences about both his personal characteristics and characteristics of the city, and that these sets of inferences were positively correlated. 1989 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-168
Number of pages5
JournalFamily and Consumer Sciences Research Journal
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

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