How clothing choices impact the behavior of others around us


Howclothing choices impact the behavior of others around us



Clothing choices impact heavily on the behavior of people around us. Decent dressing adds dignity to one’s natural life and will always be given first priority when it comes to job seeking. The perception of older people to younger people towards dressing code of individuals of different sex and gender can clearly tell this (Jain et-al., 2011). The Old are very much concerned with how one dress and will often not engage in serious talk with people who dress indecently most especially those who wear mini-skirts but the young are less concerned with how one dress.A group of eight is selected to carry out this study and they are possess themselves as pro-activist and half of the men wear long pants and half shorts. Half the ladies wear long skirts and half mini-skirts.

The attires are won on two different sessions and people’s perception gauged. Two questions relating to climate change are used not really to get answer but to get attention of the people to talk to. Responded unaware from outside a mall is used and this helps the researcher see the experimenter’s dress code during the interviewing time. From the point of view from the question of whether people will be willing to sit with someone dressed in long skirt or mini-skirt or people will be willing to talk to someone with long pant or short , it is true that physical appearance, gender and age go hand in hand with how individual view dressing code.

New type of dressing that is mini-skirts, shorts, long pants and long dress are considered but on residual plots, it is clear that mini-skirts are highly rejected attired while long skirts and pants are highly accepted by people of all ages and gender (Edward, 1969). The success of the experiment is evaluated depending on if the person approached agreed to answer the interviewer’s questions and the data collected is analyzed and recorded. Tables are used for recording the positive and negative responses from respondents and their age brackets for all dress codes.

Literature Review

How Clothing Choices Impact the Behavior of Others around Us

Over the years, people have become extra careful in how others around them think about their dressing (Johnson, Yoo &amp Lennon 4) (Ofori, Adu, Donkor 26). There is a lot of time invested in deciding what we wear and buy (Jain, Singh &amp Rankawat 18). In order to be held with high decorum, how others look at us has become something we cross off the list in order to be sure of how we portray ourselves. This happens because appearance is now considered to be a form on non-verbal communication that ignites certain behavioral and judgmental responses from the people around you (Jain, Singh &amp Rankawat 13), (Kiker &amp Miller 1013), (Hamid 191).

Lambert in 1972 (225), posed as a female researcher, dressed tidy and untidy as well. The result of success of the research was also based on agreements and refusals to accept to answer survey questions. The result of the research shows no overall significant effect on the refusal rate of approached interviewees. But when the results were checked by age, it showed that younger people were less influenced by dressing than the older generation. There was little or no refusal gestures from the young interviewees (Lambert, 1972).

Judd, Bull &amp Gahagan (227) carried out a research on whether the type of clothing had an influence on how a stranger reacts to types of clothing. Two experiments were done. First, when the male market researcher dressed smartly and on the second, he wore untidy clothes. Both genders were approached and an age of above and below 35 years was also used as a criterion. The courtesy of accepting to answer the research questions by the market researcher was used as a basis of success. Their results showed that older people possess a stronger attraction to the type of clothing than the younger generation (Judd, Bull &amp Gahagan 227). Younger women though, were more influenced by the type of dressing (Judd et-al., 1975). Hence, they behaved more open to conversation to the marketer and accepted to answer the questions.

McDermott and Pettijohn (64) designed an experiment for 168 college students, on how clothing fashion is perceived on the socioeconomic status and person perception. The college students were made to look at photographs of African American and Caucasian models wearing grey sweatshirts with Kmart, Abercrombie &amp Fitch (AF) or no logo. The clothes were varied because of perceived economic value attached to the fashion designer. AF was regarded as a top-notch cloth maker and Kmart of lower regards. Results from the experiments showed the respondents judged in favor of the Caucasian models over the African American models in achieving success, being attractive and intelligent in relation to those wearing higher valued clothes.

Different clothing values were investigated on which stimulates the highest reaction around us. Economic value, exploratory value, political value, aesthetic value, conformity to social values, status symbol, modesty, fashion and religious values were all investigated by Jain, Singh &amp Rankawat (18). The objective was to determine how people around you will behave and value you in regards to those factors. Out of all these, aesthetic and economic value has the highest impact on how women specifically are judged by those around them (Jain et-al., 2011). While there was no noticeable change in body language, mental and vocal alterations were noticed. More attention was thus given to women who looked aesthetically appealing and showing signs of richness (Jain et-al., 2011).

Blount-Nuss, Cate &amp Lattimer conducted a study on what role a person’s attire play in being employable and how attractive people find them. Women were asked to look at different photos of the same men, unknown to them, dressed in two different attires: military and civilian attire. They hypothesized that the males dressed in the military attire will be found more attractive by the ladies. Their experiment however did not justify sufficiently that the female students at North Georgia College and State University regard the men dressed in military attire as more attractive. But a little tendency existed for them to vote in favor of the military dressed men (Blount-Nuss, Cate &amp Lattimer 12).


To summarize, most of the research done on reaction of people to people’s dressing are centered on smart and untidy dressing, clothes according to designers and military or civilian attire. In addition, some of the experimental designs incorporate physical appearance or gender. The experiment design below looks at the problem from a slightly different point of view. It recognizes the fact that physical appearance, gender and age go hand in hand with people’s perceptions, and therefore included it (Blount et-al., 2006). But the experiment now considers a new type of dressing, mini-skirts, shorts, long pants and long skirts. It is hoped that this design will reveal new findings to the social behavior of people in response to people’s dressing around them.

Experimental Design

The experiment will have 4 males and females each 2 dressed in either shorts or miniskirts and 2 in long pants or long skirts. The 8 people will pose themselves as climate change pro-activists. They will each try to ask 2 questions about climate change.

Question 1: Do you believe human’s cause climate changes?

Question 2: In what way are you fighting climate changes?

Objective: To determine people’s behavior towards people based on their clothing types.

Statement of the problem: there is a general belief that people behave differently to people because of their clothing.

Hypothesis 1: People would be more willing to talk to someone dressed long pants or long skirts.

Hypothesis 2: People would you be more willing to sit next to people dressed in shorts or mini-skirts

Selection of Response Variable

How the success will be evaluated will depend on if the person approached agreed to answer the interviewer’s questions (Blount et-al., 2006). This response variable is similar to what Lambert and Judd, Bull &amp Gahagan used for their research. The mean and standard deviation of these responses will be used in discussion and analysis of results.

Choice of Factor, Levels and Ranges

Held-constant factors: the 8 male and female interviewers should be the same people wearing shorts or mini-skirts and long pants or skirts. Different set of interviewers should not be used for purpose of maintain the same physical appearance.

Range: the region of interest for this experiment can be chosen outside a mall and on a business street. The experiment should be varied over those two places.

Choice of Experimental Desisgn

The experiment here is a 2×2 contingency table taking in to account these 4 things:

Conditions of dress (highlighted below), group and sex should be taking one by one. A male interviewer in shorts, a male interviewer in long pants, a female interviewer in mini-skirts, a female interviewer in long skirts.

Young men

Young women

Aged men

Aged women







Long pants



Long skirts



Statistics Project

To determine how clothing choices impact on the behavior of people around us, an experiment was performed to test for the response on certain questions. The experiment was meant to determine whether or not the participants would be comfortable answering questions from people dressed in a particular manner, and it considered people of different ages and genders (Hamid, 1969).

The social experiment is in line with the gap that is created by the age difference in the fashion industry. The preference of the older generation is different from that of the younger generation (Kiker and Miller, 1967). Male and female also have different perceptions of how people of their gender and the opposite dress, and have different views on people who dress in a certain manner.

The experiment was also designed to come up with a clear line of how people define the seriousness in terms of the attire of someone they talk to. The theory of whether the presentation and first impression does matter was being put to test in an environment with people from different walks of life and different views on dressing (Johnson et-al., 2008). The experimenters were eight, with an equal number of male and female. The clothes they were to put on as part of the experiment were short and long pants for the men and miniskirts and long skirt for the ladies. These were to be put on in turns, with all the men wearing shorts in one instant followed by the same men putting on long pants in another instant. The same case applied to the ladies. All the four of them were to put on miniskirts in one art of the experiment, and long skirts in the second part.

Ensuring the same experimenters wore all the outfits at different sections of the experiment was done to maintain the same body structure throughout the experiment. It removed any room for error associated with different people dressing differently for different experiments, which would not have resulted in reliable results (Lambert, 1972).

There were two hypotheses in the experiment. The first one stated that people would be more willing to talk to someone dressed in long pants or long skirts. The second hypothesis stated that people would be more willing to sit next to people dressed in shorts or miniskirts (Young and Schmid, 196). To test these null hypotheses, two questions were to be asked by the experimenters. These questions involved a general topic that was well familiar with the participants since it is an issue affecting the modern world and the developed and developing countries. A global situation was chosen to ensure that the questions would not be any strange to the participants. To begin with, the experimenters posed as climate change pro-activists concerned with the current state of climatic changes and its effects. He also posed as one who wanted to know the level to which the individuals participating in the experiment had taken the matter. The questions asked were: Do you believe humans cause climate changes? In what way are you fighting climate changes? In essence, the experimenters were not after answers and comments or discussions on the topics of climatic change. All they required was to identify whether or not they would get someone to stop and talk to them, and whether the choice of that person in answering the question depended on the way the experimenter was dressed (McDermott and Pettijohn, 2011).

The hypotheses were quite appropriate for this experiment, and the model with which they were tested was bound to yield good results.

To successfully carry out the experiment, data had to be collected from reliable yet unaware respondents. To get such respondents, the outside of a busy mall was selected as the site of the experiment. It was because it would be easy to get subjects from the huge crowd leaving or entering the mall frequently and it would also be possible for the experimenters to go unnoticed by passers-by who were not participants in the experiment. The data was collected by simply keeping a count of the people who either accepted or rejected to answer the questions asked or even begin a conversation with the experimenter (Edwards, 1969).

The sample size selected was 160 participants, of which 80 would be male and 80 female. Each experimenter was to approach 10 male and 10 female participants, making them 20 for each experimenter. The participants used were also varied in terms of age brackets, starting from teenagers and evenly distributing them through all ages to over seventy years old (Blount et-al., 2006). Selection of the participants was random. The randomized test sequence was selected because of its ease of use and because the participant was to be approached without any earlier warning, ensuring that the first response from them was totally genuine and unprecedented. Approaching the participants without any earlier warning also ensured that they saw the experimenter’s dress code during the period of the questioning. It resulted in their judgment of whether it was appropriate to converse with a person dressed in such a manner would be made at that instantly (Dalton, 1997).

The data collected was recorded in tables indicating the number of positive and negative respondents and their age brackets for all the dress codes (Edward, 1969). Statistical analysis was carried out using the Minitab software and processed information was used to qualify the hypotheses.

The data collected was like in the table below:

Table1: Data collected

The descriptive analysis of the various kinds of dressing was done in relation to whether they were accepted or rejected. The results are as shown below:

The correlation of various dressing modes was also done to relate on how people accepted or rejected them. The results are as below:

Following this analysis, relationships between accepted and rejected shorts and pants and accepted and rejected miniskirts and long skirts were considered and taken through regression analysis as shown below:

Residual plots were also plotted to compare slopes of dressing relationships to reactions of the participants of the experiment as shown below:

Figure 1: Residual plots for miniskirts accepted

These residual plots were selected to give a comparison of the box plots and the slopes of miniskirts’ reactions from participants (McDermott and Pettijohn, 2011). Miniskirts were used for this graph comparison because they were the attire that was highly rejected especially by the aged groups of people. The long skirts and long pants were the most highly accepted by people of all ages and all genders. They represented serious people and were therefore granted time to ask their two questions of the study. Shorts were also not highly rejected but could not be accepted by the older women in this study. The young men and young women had no problem with the shorts and some even did not notice the attire of the experimenters but rather the conversation they were engaging in (Ofori et-al, 2014).

To emphasize on this, a plot comparing the short and long skirt acceptance was done, showing that the miniskirts were highly rejected, and the long skirts highly accepted by both genders and age groups.

Figure2: Miniskirts accepted vs long skirts accepted

Finally, the ANOVA analysis was carried out for long pants accepted, and long skirts accepted. The general linear model was used, and the results are as below:

Conclusions and Recommendations

From the data collected and the analysis done as per the tables, graphs and charts above, it was clear that there is a very great impact of dressing on the way people around us behave (Edward, 1969). It is clearly seen in the response or reaction of older people compared to younger people. The older age brackets seem to be more concerned with one’s presentation and will not engage in serious conversation with someone who does not present themselves as serious. Women above 50 years of age seemed to dislike conversing with ladies in miniskirts and allow the conversation with boys with shorts but did not answer their questions. The younger age bracket did not seem to care about the way someone they were talking to dressed, and they seemed to converse willingly, answering all the questions well. The ladies in particular were fond of the smartly dressed men in long pants, although this did not affect the results of the experiment much. They treated them with what seemed like respect, expecting that they probably were highly ranking guys, and treated the men in shorts as easy-going social people with whom they would converse and laugh at the presentation of the questions. Looking at the gender, there was a difference between the ways in which reception of the experimenters was looked at. It was however not as significant as with the age bracket (Young, 1966).

The first hypothesis stating that people would be more willing to talk to someone dressed in long pants or long skirts was proven and therefore retained, and could further be developed into a

theory. The second hypothesis stating that people would be more willing to sit next to people dressed in shorts or miniskirts yielded nearly the same results as the first (Johnson et-al., 2008) The only difference was that many people did not seem much concerned with whoever sat next to them as long as they did not bother them physically (Dalton, 1997).

For further studies, the mode of dressing and its effects should be tested for the case of voters in elections, be they institutional or general. To start with, a study can be carried out in an academic institution to prove that the way the people campaigning for certain student leadership posts get voted in is greatly determined by the way they dress. It should involve having participants from the school and in their first year of academics select who they would prefer for their leader despite having no previous encounter with them. The experiment would be successful if the participants in the experiment were made to meet the vying students in a common room with no supporters. No form of communication should take place between the two apart from observation (Blount et-al., 2006). Once the participants had seen the campaigning students, they would fill a questionnaire on what they thought on each of the would-be leaders and why they think that of them. They would also indicate who they would rather vote for. The candidates vying for these positions would be expected each dress uniquely and not in any form of school uniform to allow for differentiation in their dress codes.


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