Equal homes, unequal perceptions? A study examining the influence of status conditions and group membership characterized by names on perceived status, competence and warmth
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The Stereotype Content Model proposes that perceived social structure, such as competition and status, predicts stereotypes on the dimensions of warmth and competence. The dimension of warmth includes elements of sociability and morality. Competence includes agency and status. In general, high-status individuals are evaluated as being more competent and warm than their low-status counterparts. Group membership might have an effect on this too since ingroup members are perceived as being more competent and warm than outgroup members. It is hypothesized that status, characterized by house type, and group membership, characterized by names, interact with each other and influence homeowner’s competence and warmth evaluations. It is expected that low-status homeowners are evaluated lower in their competence and warmth than high-status homeowners and an outgroup homeowner is evaluated lower in their competence and warmth than the ingroup homeowner, with the interaction between the two variables enhancing this effect. Results show a main effect of status but not of group membership. No interaction between status and group membership is present. Interestingly, it was found that the outgroup homeowner was consistently evaluated lower in warmth, regardless of their status. Possible real world implications for this result might be increased inequality and decreased standard of life for the outgroup. The results provide future research directions regarding the influence of different competition contexts and different types of outgroups which are briefly touched upon in the discussion.
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