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Master of Science
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Professional styles of dress in relation to perceptions of the public, have been assessed when comparing men and women, though little research exists to examine the spectrum of professional styles offered to women. This study involves the analysis of two different styles of dress, both on a spectrum of professional styles that are offered to women. A photo of a model in a sheath dress and a photo of a model in a pantsuit were used in separate experimental conditions, accompanied by the same job description for Senior Strategy Consultant, as well as the same resume. Participants were then asked to complete a rating scale of eight different traits (intelligent, friendly, determined, nice, competent, self-respecting, attractive, moral, and capable), along with completing the Self-Objectification Questionnaire. Although there was no significant differences among experimental conditions, men rated the model as less self-respecting than did women. Overall, those with higher scores on the Self-Objectification Questionnaire rated the model as more competent when in a sheath dress. These results may imply that professional, but femininely dressed women are perceived as more capable than a woman embodying a traditionally masculine silhouette.
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Esparza, Brianna, "Style Semiotics: The Influence of Levels of Professional Style of Dress on Perceived Competency" (2017). Digital Commons @ ACU, Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 63.