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Seeing wrath from the top (through stratified lenses): Perceivers high in social dominance orientation show superior anger identification for high-status individuals

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
0022-1031
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
48
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.05.016
Keywords
  • Status
  • Facial Expressions
  • Social Dominance
  • Anger
  • Social Cognition

Abstract

Abstract In this research, we test the hypothesis that social status will be an orienting cue to the identification of facial expressions of emotion, particularly angry expressions, especially for those who dispositionally believe that some societal groups should dominate others (Social dominance orientation; Pratto, Sidanius, Stallworth, & Malle, 1994). Using an emotion identification task, the expression of anger was identified with greater accuracy on high-status faces than low-status faces, but only for people who endorsed rigid social hierarchies (i.e., high SDO). Furthermore, people who did not endorse social hierarchies (i.e., low SDO) did not show a preference for high-status anger. Thus, the current findings provide a novel account of how social status can be an informative cue to the expression of anger in online perceptions, especially for those who view social dominance as an important framework for society.

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