Shoes as a source of first impressions.
Ratings of shoes correlate with shoe owners’ personal characteristics
Surprisingly minimal appearance cues lead perceivers to accurately judge others’ personality, status, or politics. Actually, we can accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality simply by looking at the person’s shoes. The researchers noted that some people will choose shoe styles to mask their actual personality traits
Researchers at the University of Kansas investigated people’s precision in judging characteristics of an unknown person, based solely on the shoes he or she wears most often. Participants provided photographs of their shoes, and during a separate session completed self-report measures. Coders rated the shoes on various dimensions, and these ratings were found to correlate with the owners’ personal characteristics. A new group of participants accurately judged the age, gender, income, and attachment anxiety of shoe owners based solely on the pictures. Shoes can indeed be used to evaluate others, at least in some domains.
“Shoes have great variety of styles, brands, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes can carry individual difference information, but do they? We suggest that the answer is yes,” the study authors wrote.
Some of the results were expected:
– Wealthy people wear expensive shoes
– Flashy and colorful footwear are for extroverted
– Wearing practical and functional shoes is decoded as for agreeable person
– Ankle boots are more closely aligned with “aggressive” personalities
– Those who wore “uncomfortable looking” shoes tend to have “calm” personalities.
– Well kept shoes = “attachment anxiety,”
– Boring looking shoes = relationship issues.