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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Stereotypes bias social class perception from faces: The roles of race, gender, affect, and attractiveness.
Author(s): Bjornsdottir, Ragnheidur Thora
Beacon, Elizabeth
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Issue Date: 22-Jan-2024
Date Deposited: 19-Dec-2023
Citation: Bjornsdottir RT & Beacon E (2024) Stereotypes bias social class perception from faces: The roles of race, gender, affect, and attractiveness.. <i>Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology</i>.
Abstract: People quickly form consequential impressions of others’ social class standing from nonverbal cues, including facial appearance. Extant research shows that perceivers judge faces that appear more positive, attractive, and healthy as higher-class, in line with stereotypes associating high class standing with happiness, attractiveness, and better wellbeing (which bear a kernel of truth). A wealth of research moreover demonstrates strong stereotypical associations between social class and both race and gender. The current work bridged these areas of inquiry to explore (1) intersectional biases in social class impressions from faces and (2) how associations between social class and attractiveness/health and affect can be used to shift social class impressions. Our studies found evidence of race and gender stereotypes impacting British perceivers’ social class judgments, with Black (vs. White and Asian) and female (vs. male) faces judged as lower in class. Furthermore, manipulating faces’ emotion expression shifted judgments of their social class, with variations in magnitude by faces’ race, such that emotion expressions shifted judgments of Black faces more than White faces. Finally, manipulating faces’ complexion to appear healthier/more attractive shifted social class judgments, with the magnitude of this varying by faces’ and perceivers’ race, suggesting a role of perceptual expertise. These findings demonstrate that stereotypes bias social class impressions and can be used to manipulate them.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1747021824123046
Rights: Bjornsdottir, R. T., & Beacon, E. (2024). EXPRESS: Stereotypes Bias Social Class Perception from Faces: The Roles of Race, Gender, Affect, and Attractiveness . Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. DOI:
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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