The projection of self versus perception of self : comparison of the meaning of clothing intended by the wearer and perceived by others Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zk51vm22v

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  • Clothing is wrought with symbolism. Each day when outfits are selected and worn, messages are being sent and received, categorizing the wearer. The self and the many different roles that it plays in society are important factors in determining a personal appearance. We try to reflect our internal concept of self through outer appearance. Through impression formation and semiotics, society will then attempt to place us into appropriate roles. This process helps to make sense of the entropy inherent in the universe. If we can correctly identify a person’s role in society based on their appearance, we can quickly assess how to properly treat that person. This makes life more organized and less chaotic. This thesis explored how we project ourselves and how others actually view us. Eleven subjects were photographed and filled out a survey on the intent of their dress. They were asked what visual messages they believed that their clothes were projecting. Eighty-three students then evaluated the photographs of these subjects. The students were asked their opinions of each subject based on style of dress. The opinions of the students were then compared to the intent and predicted response by the subjects who were photographed. Results indicated that most of the subjects had at least a general idea of what other people thought of them. The majority of the subjects were accurate on at least one of the adjectives that they believed others used to describe them. Some of the subjects were better at predicting what others think about them than others. Some of the students surveyed were better at interpreting the intent behind the wearers outfits than other students. Impressions were primarily based on style of dress rather than other appearance characteristics (e.g., body size, hair color). Symbolic Interaction Theory, Impression Formation Theory, Social Comparison Theory, and Social Cognitive Theory can be used to explain why we choose to dress in our individual styles. These theories will also serve as a guide for understanding how clothing is judged by society. By examining the motivations underlying clothing choice and how these are being interpreted, there may be better understanding of the many different roles in society.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-05-02T22:11:37Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) SmithCarolineM2014_Redacted.pdf: 2636319 bytes, checksum: 4a2c30eaecb37abd8115c20b7f6244e9 (MD5)
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