Social Class And Being Hired

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Kindergarten to Senior year in high school, that’s thirteen years of trying to decide what you want to go to college for. Some people are lucky, they know early on and have a plan for the rest of their life. Having said that, others aren’t so sure what they can see themselves doing for the rest of their life. Even with the noise of their parents, teachers, and family members. Telling them what and what not to do along with how they could become successful. Either way by the end of high school, the majority of people will know or at least have an idea of where their college career path will be starting. Two to four or even six years have now gone by, it’s time for job interviews. Do they know that the amount of confidence they display plays an enormous factor in whether or not they receive the job, did you?

An article was published, May of this year. The source being American Psychological Association, sharing the profound new research on how people ranking in the higher social classes think of themselves as superior. Their demeanour appears to give them the upper hand at receiving a job over those who rank below them. The lead author of the study Peter Blemi discusses the fact that being born into separate parts of the social class hierarchy plays a role in forming different attitudes based on the classes. Blemi along with his associates purpose for the research was to study the correlation between overconfidence of the upper class’s minds and the impression of higher competence.

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Data sources used in this investigation included four separate assessments using cognitive tests. The researchers evaluated those being used in the test by obtaining their ranks in the hierarchy, income and amount of education. First, 150,000 mexican small business owners all applying for loans were assessed by using a flashcard game. They were asked to predict how well they thought they did on a scale of one to one- hundred. Research concluded, those who came from higher education, income, and social rank were all sure they scored higher than those beneath them. The next two consisted of over one thousand participants using an online trivia test. Yet again, those ranking in the upper class were confident they had placed better than those opposite to their class, the results showed otherwise. The last study included a little over two hundred undergraduate students, they were also given a trivia quiz. They were also asked to predict whether or not they believed they had scored higher based off of their social class. During this study the students were asked to state what social class they fall in, their family’s income, and their parent’s highest education. After a week, they returned for a fake interview that was recorded and watched by more than nine hundred online judges. The judges ranked the students based on their impressions of competence. This study proved that those who were in upper classes came across as more competent, however it turns out they were overconfident and the article states the judges misinterpreted that as higher competence.

The question of whether over-confidence could be seen as more competent was proved as a very likely possibility based off the results of the study. The article begins to wrap itself up by stating the fact that the studies revealed that the higher classes did no better than the lower class participants on these assessments, yet due to those in the upper class placing themselves on a pedestal mentally and by their demeanour, they tend to outshine those who lack the same confidence and end up coming across as more hirable. From what I have learned from recent discussions in class, I believe reasons this can occur could be explained by social-cognitive psychology. First, person perception. The process of categorizing others, includes the social class hierarchy which has been used since the 19th century and played an important role in this study. Now schemas come into effect, these are expectations about individuals or groups which can be stereotypical. For example, the four studies have shown that those in the upper class tend to believe that they are better or worth more than those ranked lower than themselves. There is also thin-slices, judgement with very limited information. The study that used undergrads as the participants, depicts this. The judges view higher class participants as more competent however they had not scored any higher than the lower class. A possible explanation to why they might have this perception could be due to self-fulfilling prophecy, which means first impressions affect the observers behaviour. This correlates to the study because if the employer first interviews the highly confident participant and liked them, when the participant lacking confidence being interviewed next will seem less desirable due to that initial first impression. Those are just a few examples I’ve learned in class that I was able to tie- in to this study.

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter if you knew what you were destined to be at the age of three or if it took you three years in a completely different major. This study proved your education, upbringing, and the amount of confidence you exhibit will determine whether you receive a job or not. Social-cognitive psychology can give somewhat of an explanation as to why this study had the results it did.


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