Social status level and dimension interactively influence person evaluations indexed by P300s


Functional neuroimaging research suggests that status-based evaluations may not solely depend on the level of social status but also on the conferred status dimension. However, no reports to date have studied how status level and dimension shape early person evaluations. To explore early status-based person evaluations, event-related brain potential data were collected from 29 participants while they indicated the status level and dimension of faces that had been previously trained to be associated with one of four status types: high moral, low moral, high financial, or low financial. Analysis of the P300 amplitude (previously implicated in social evaluation) revealed an interaction of status level and status dimension such that enhanced P300 amplitudes were observed in response to targets of high financial and low moral status relative to targets of low financial and high moral status. Implications of these findings are discussed in the context of our current understanding of status-based evaluation and, more broadly, of the processes by which person knowledge may shape person perception and evaluation.

Social Neuroscience