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Study Confirms Clothing Affects How Others View Our Abilities

By: MerxWire

Will different clothes affect our evaluation of people? Experimental results show that our judgments of other people’s abilities are closely related to their social status.

Clothing affects our judgments of other people’s abilities, and research shows that people who are more prosperous in dress are perceived to be more capable. (Photo via

Boston, MA (Merxwire) – We all hope to leave a good impression on the other person when we meet for the first time, but did you know that before you even speak, others have already given you a good score in their hearts? Research has found that people make split-second judgments about a person’s abilities based on how they think they dress. Experts say your clothing may determine how others see you.

A study published by Princeton University in the United States in the journal “Nature Human Behavior” found that clothing is closely related to our judgment of other people’s abilities. People will judge a person’s ability based on a person’s clothing within a few milliseconds. This kind of Even if the behavior is deliberately reminded, it is difficult to avoid it.

The researchers also found that through different upper body clothing, whether T-shirts, sweaters, or other tops, ” wealthier ” subjects were perceived to have higher abilities. But at the same time, researchers also found that because socioeconomic status and economic background will affect the quality of clothing and appearance, clothing disadvantages may lead to a bias in underestimating abilities.

To reduce the impact of clothing on people’s perception of ability, a total of nine experiments were conducted, including giving subjects different lengths of time to view photos, changing clothing from formal to informal, providing subjects’ occupation and income, and asking to ignore The subjects’ clothes or different faces were changed, but regardless of these changes, the results were almost the same. The faces wearing “wealthier” clothes all received higher ability scores.

Clothing does play a significant role in making a first impression. According to another study out of Columbia, Missouri, well-dressed customers will likely receive better service at a restaurant. Servers believe customers who dress more professionally can leave more extensive tips, and men are likelier to tip than women.

Research shows that customers who dress appropriately will likely receive better restaurant service. (Photo via

As the gap between rich and poor in the United States has worsened since the late 1980s, researchers say experimental results show that our judgments of other people’s abilities are closely related to their social status. People are easily influenced by these cues when they judge others based on meaningful characteristics such as ability, which is difficult to ignore.

How to avoid clothing deviation? Shafir, a professor of psychology at Princeton University, believes that understanding bias is often an excellent first step. When we know bias exists, we can find solutions. For example, recruiting graduate students without interviews, using only written materials, or wearing uniforms can avoid discrimination in judging ability.

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