Perception of clothing clues by five-, nine-, and thirteen-year-olds Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0g354j11g

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  • The significance of dress in a first encounter situation has been demonstrated empirically: clothing serves as a vehicle for communicating information from one person to another. Thus, it is influential in affecting the formation of first impressions. This study was undertaken to explore the elements of dress that are most noticed in a "first impression" situation--that is, the perception of clothing clues. Specifically, this study investigated the clothing perceptions of fine-, nine-, and thirteen-year-olds. Possible relationships between characteristics of the perceiver--age, sex, and level of cognitive development--and two perceptual dimensions--number and type of clothing clues mentioned--were examined. The sample was composed of 90 subjects: 30 five-year-olds, 30 nine-year-olds, and 30 thirteen-year-olds. Each age group included 15 boys and 15 girls. The instrument employed to measure clothing perception was adapted from Shields' (1983) instrument. Subjects were shown three color photographs (clothing stimuli). Data were gathered in the form of "free descriptions": subjects described freely the clothing stimulus they were viewing. The number of clothing clues was determined by counting the total number of clothing responses given by the subjects for each clothing photograph. The type of clothing clues was then determined by coding the clothing clues into one of two categories: 1) a "concrete" category or 2) an "abstract" category. The concrete category included clothing responses that were descriptive in nature; the abstract category included clothing responses that were evaluative and inferred in nature. Age was significantly related to the perceptual measures. Nine- and thirteen-year-old subjects furnished a greater number of clothing clues than did five-year-old subjects. As for the type of clothing clue perceived, nine-year-old subjects furnished a greater number of concrete clothing clues than did five- and thirteen-yearold subjects; thirteen-year-old subjects furnished a greater number of abstract clothing clues than did five- and nine-year-old subjects. Level of cognitive development and sex were not significantly related to the perception of clothing clues. However, there was a significant sex by photograph interaction with respect to the number of clothing clues mentioned. Boys furnished fewer clothing clues when viewing photograph two (model wearing skirt) than when viewing photographs one and three (model wearing pants).
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