Title of Project

Does Perception of Economic Status Affect The Way One Is Treated?

Project Type

Event

Location

Alvin Sherman Library 1054

Start Date

19-4-2002 12:00 AM

End Date

19-4-2002 12:00 AM

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Apr 19th, 12:00 AM Apr 19th, 12:00 AM

Does Perception of Economic Status Affect The Way One Is Treated?

Alvin Sherman Library 1054

Links between economic status and stereotypic behaviors were investigated by setting up two staged scenarios. The main premise of the scenarios was to distinguish between treatment of individuals who present themselves to be in a higher economic range and those of lower status ranks. In the first scenario, two female students drove a high status car up to a stop light and failed to proceed when the light changed from red to green. This part of the scenario also included two male students in the same situation driving a late model car. In the second scenario, the same female and male students, driving the same cars, drove into a car dealership. Both scenarios were videotaped to determine reactions of individuals involved. Studies show that stereotypes affect judgment when little else is known about individuals or when additional obvious information shows a particular level of status. Thus, stereotypes come into play when this information is obvious and affects the behavior of those observing what they believe to be correct information. Results indicated that situatio ns where economic status is evidenced as high elicit behavior that is different from those where the status is believed to be lower. Behavior of individuals involved in the scenarios was decidedly different toward the higher status individuals than the lower-status targets. Gender differences were also noted and were exacerbated by the perceived status. In both scenarios, females believed to be in higher status categories were better treated than the males.