Pay attention to people's shoes the next time you're at an event.
According to researchers from the University of Kansas and Wellesley College, "minimal appearance cues lead perceivers to accurately judge others’ personality, status or politics."
The researchers studied people's precision in judging characteristics of an unknown person, based solely on the shoes he or she wears most often.
"Participants provided photographs of their shoes, and during a separate session completed self-report measures," the researchers said in the study's abstract. "Coders rated the shoes on various dimensions, and these ratings were found to correlate with the owners’ personal characteristics. A new group of participants accurately judged the age, gender, income and attachment anxiety of shoe owners based solely on the pictures. Shoes can indeed be used to evaluate others, at least in some domains."
Some of the findings include:
- Extroverts prefer flashy and colorful shoes.
- Expensive shoes are worn by high salary employees.
- Spotless shoes show a conscientious person.
- Liberals often wear less expensive shoes.
- Functional shoes equate to an agreeable person.
- Ankle boots: aggressive person
- Shoes that appear uncomfortable are preferred by calm personalities.
Now that you know the scoop, approaching strangers at a networking event won't seem so daunting.
What kind of shoes do you prefer to wear? Do they fit your personality as described above?