ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2018, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (2): 243-252.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00243

• • 上一篇    


 韦庆旺; 李木子; 陈晓晨   

  1.  (中国人民大学心理学系, 北京 100872)
  • 收稿日期:2017-02-20 出版日期:2018-02-25 发布日期:2017-12-26
  • 通讯作者: 陈晓晨, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:
     中国人民大学科学研究基金(中央高校基本科研业务费专项资金资助)项目成果(16XNLQ05), 北京高等学校青年英才计划项目(2013)。

 Social class and social perception: Is warmth or competence more important?

 WEI Qingwang; LI Muzi; CHEN Xiaochen   

  1.  (Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)
  • Received:2017-02-20 Online:2018-02-25 Published:2017-12-26
  • Contact: CHEN Xiaochen, E-mail:
  • Supported by:

摘要:  热情优先是社会知觉的基本规律。以往研究发现, 不同的知觉情境(知觉他人和知觉自我)会对热情优先产生调节作用, 但在知觉自我时, 热情和能力哪个更重要存在不确定性。本研究引入知觉者的社会阶层这一新的调节因素, 提出如下假设:知觉他人时, 高低阶层都认为热情更重要, 但这种热情优先效应对低阶层更明显; 知觉自我时, 只有低阶层认为热情比能力更重要, 而高阶层则认为能力比热情更重要。研究1让大学生阅读一些描述他人的包含热情和能力的混合特质句子, 然后对每个人用形容词进行印象评定, 并测量他们的客观社会阶层。结果发现:高低阶层在对他人的印象评定中使用的热情特质词均比能力特质词多, 但低阶层多的程度更高。研究2让非大学生成人对给出的一组热情和能力特质词在描述自我时的重要性进行评定, 并测量他们的主观社会阶层。结果发现:低阶层认为热情特质词比能力特质词在描述自我时更重要, 而高阶层则认为能力特质词比热情特质词在描述自我时更重要。这些结果不仅说明社会阶层对社会知觉普遍存在的热情优先效应具有调节作用, 而且对理解高低阶层在互动中容易发生哪些误解, 以及如何缓解他们在互动中可能产生的冲突, 也具有一定的启发意义。

关键词:  社会阶层, 热情, 能力, 自我, 他人

Abstract:  Warmth and competence are the two fundamental dimensions (i.e. Big Two) in social cognition. According to the Dual Perspective Model (DPM), warmth is the primacy of the Big Two and the Big Two are differentially linked to the actor (self) vs. observer (other) perspectives. In the observer perspective, warmth is more relevant and more important; whereas in the actor perspective, competence is more relevant and more important. Another domain of literature on social class psychology suggested that lower-class individuals were more sensitive to external environment and valued interdependent self; whereas upper-class individuals were more self-focused and valued independent self. The current study combined these two domains of literature and examined possible moderating role of social class on the link between the Big Two and the actor vs. observer perspectives. Specifically, we hypothesized that both lower-class individuals and upper-class individuals would value warmth more than competence in evaluating others, and this primacy of warmth would be more evident for lower-class individuals (H1). In contrast, lower-class individuals would also value warmth more than competence whereas upper-class individuals would value competence more than warmth when evaluating themselves (H2). Two studies were carried out to test these hypotheses. In Study 1, 122 undergraduate participants were presented with a list of 8 sentences each describing a behavior of a stranger. The behavioral acts were deliberately chosen to be amenable to both warmth and competence traits. Participants were asked to use a single word to describe the character of the subject in each sentence. Information on participants’ objective socioeconomic status (SES, family income and highest parental education level) was also collected. In Study 2, 137 community participants were asked to rate the importance of 12 traits (6 on warmth dimension, 6 on competence dimension) in evaluating themselves. The MacArthur scale was used to assess participants’ subjective social class rank. In Study 1, more warm words (as compared to words on the competence dimension) were chosen to describe the character of the subjects in the sentences. This pattern was consistent among both lower- and upper-class individuals. In addition, lower-class individuals used significantly more warm words than upper-class participants. In Study 2, lower-class individuals scored significantly higher on warmth than competence. Contrary, upper-class individuals scored significantly higher on competence than warmth. Taken together, findings from these two studies provided evidences to support our hypotheses. The current study contributes to the social cognition literature by integrating the DPM and social class psychology. Social class does influence the primacy of warmth vs. competence as demonstrated previously in DPM. The primacy of warmth in evaluating others is more typical for lower-class individuals and the primacy of competence in evaluating themselves is more typical for upper-class individuals. Moreover, DPM further develops the ideas of social class psychology. Lower-class individuals showing contextual social cognitive tendencies and upper-class individuals showing solipsistic social cognitive tendencies are reflected very well in the primacy of warmth vs. competence in evaluating others vs. themselves. Uncovering the nuances in social cognition between lower and upper classes also provides important practical implications to promote healthy inter-class communications.

Key words:  social class, warmth, competence, self, others