It's all relative: Competition and status drive interpersonal perception

Ann Marie T. Russell, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Structural features of interpersonal relationships, particularly competition and status, can cause people, respectively, to (dis)like and (dis)respect each other, although they think they are reacting to the target's personality. Two studies manipulate structural relationships between students in a 2 × 2 between-participants design. Competition and status, respectively, differentiate perceptions of the target's warmth and competence. In Study 1's pre-post design, the pre-and post-interaction warmth, hut status affected only pre-interaction competence. Study 2 post-interaction-only design did replicate both of Study 1 's pre-interaction results. Competing targets were judged less warm than cooperating targets; high-status targets were judged more competent than low-status targets. These experiments demonstrate the structural predictors of the intergroup stereotype content model at the interpersonal level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1201
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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