The Eyes and Ears of Status: How Status Colors Perceptual Judgment
Author(s): Nathan C. Pettit, Niro Sivanathan
Abstract: To those with high status, abundance is granted. Moving beyond the multitude of objective benefits, the authors explore how status, once conferred, colors the perceptual world people inhabit. In four experiments, participants’ status state influenced their judgments of status-relevant features in their environment. Participants in a state of high status reported hearing applause (Experiment 1) and seeing facial expressions (Experiment 2), in reaction to their performance, as louder and more favorable. In addition, expectations of how others will respond—expectations stemming from one’s current status state—accounted for this effect (Experiment 3). Finally, differences in judgments between participants experiencing high versus low status were observed only when the target of the evaluation was the self (Experiment 4). These results advance scholars’ understanding of the psychological experience of status and contribute to the growing literature on the dominant influence psychological states have on people’s judgments of their social world.
Publication Title: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 38(5)
Pub Year: 2012
Pages: 570 – 582
Keywords: status, status perception, social hierarchy, social perception

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