Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A Tale of Two Paupers: Polarized Perceptions of the Poor
Authors: Russell, Ann Marie Therese
Advisors: Fiske, Susan T.
Darley, John M.
Contributors: Psychology Department
Keywords: Ambivalence
Social Class
Work Ethic
Subjects: Social psychology
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Attributions for poverty lead to fundamentally distinct reactions to the economically disadvantaged. While attributional beliefs have been shown to differ between individuals (e.g., on the basis of political orientation), the current research suggests that reactions to the poor are polarized within the individual perceiver. In the first three studies, participants evaluated a poor or wealthy target exhibiting either high or low work ethic. As expected, work-ethic main effects, favoring the hardworking and denigrating the lazy, significantly interacted with social class, such that differentiation for the poor was always bigger. In Study 1, perceived work ethic polarized evaluative, affective, and behavioral reactions to the poor, but not the non-poor. Study 2 replicated a similar pattern of results with a mostly lower-middle and working class non-student sample, demonstrating that this effect relates to societal status, not merely ingroup/outgroup processes. Study 3 examines some consequential implications of these biases in an evaluation of polarized social class attitudes on job candidate assessments. Studies 4-6 shift the paradigm and identify some apparent instances of polarization toward the rich and muted reaction to the poor. Theoretical implications of the results across the six studies are discussed.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Psychology

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Russell_princeton_0181D_10117.pdf5.72 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.