Fragale et al., suggested that there is a relationship
between status and perceived warmth. Working from these findings this report searches
for a relationship between status and perceived warmth and gender and perceived
warmth. Participants were asked to read an excerpt about ‘L’ and judge ‘L’s
warmth on a scale. The data from this research showed high status was
associated with high warmth and low status was associated with low warmth.
Gender did not have any effect on warmth scores.
The Collins Dictionary’s definition of warmth is “someone
who has warmth is friendly and enthusiastic in their behaviour towards other
people.” Fragale et al., carried out research that indicated that an individual
with high status is perceived as warm no matter power level, and an individual with
high power and low status is perceived as cold. They conducted two experiments.
In the first there was 100 participants, undergraduate students from the US, 43%
were male and 57% were female. They were asked to rate job occupations on whether
they were likely to possess dominance and warmth characteristics. It was found
that individuals with higher status were correctly predicted to receive higher
perceived warmth compared to higher power that was negatively associated with perceived
warmth. In the second experiment, they improved their method by manipulating “the
power and status of a fictional individual rather than using the job occupations
from the first experiment. 114 undergraduate students from a US university took
part in this experiment, 42% were male and 58% were female. They were asked to
rate fictional character ‘L’ on a scale on warmth and dominance. The data from
the second experiment supported the results from the first, high power and high
status were perceived as dominant and warm, high status/low power were perceived
as very warm, low status/high power was perceived as dominant and cold, and low
status/low power were submissive and warm.
In total, the number of participants was 89, 78 of
them were female, 10 were male, and one participant did not state their gender.
The age range of the participants was between 19-49, the mean age of the
participants was 21.57 (SD= 5.13). All participants were undergraduate
psychology students living or studying in the U.K.
The research was conducted in an independent
measures design, in each condition there were different participants. There
were 6 conditions in total, 45 participants in the high-status condition and 43
in the low status condition. In the male condition there was 30 participants,
in the female there was 30, and 28 in the unspecified condition.
The participants were asked in a class setting to
read an extract about a fictional character, ‘L’ and answer a short
questionnaire about ‘L’. Consent forms were filled out and participants were
briefed about their right to withdraw. Participants were not given the extract
and questionnaire to read and complete. The questionnaire asked
participants to judge whether ‘L’ possessed certain qualities (e.g. cordial,
disrespectful, impolite). They were asked the rate ‘L’ on a 5-point Likert
scale from not at all (1) to very (5). The scores from this scale gave a warmth
score between 8 and 40. Questions 5 to 8 on the questionnaire were reversed
scored and added to the scores from questions 1-4 and a warmth score was
The results from a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and
Levene test showed that the data had homogeneity of variance and normality. The
Kolmogorov-Smirnov test showed normal distribution, (p>.05) a Levene test
was also non significant, (p=.303). A two way independent analysis of variance
was carried out 3 (unspecified, female, male) x 2 (high status, low status). It
was found there was a significant effect of status on perceived warmth,
F(1,83)=126.84, p<.001. The data showed that high status, (n=46) produced higher perceived warmth (M=32.98, SD=4.27), and low status (n=43) produced low perceived warmth (M=21.02, SD=5.7). The data however, did not show a significant effect of gender on perceived warmth, it also did not show a significant interaction between status and gender on perceived warmth, F(2, 83)=1.52, p=.225.