Back in 2013, Princeton social psychologist Susan Fiske and graduate student Cydney Dupree asked people to rate professions in terms of warmth and competence. Supposedly, these two factors go a long way in predicting how we feel about almost anything: whether we feel sympathy, contempt, admiration, every, and more.
We came across a chart from the study in a political brand analysis by Fiske’s occasional research partner, Chris Malone of Fidelum Partners.
Below, you can see the professions people respect most and least:
As Fiske and Dupree explained in the original study, low scores on warmth can lead to trouble.
“Being seen as competent but cold might not seem problematic until one recalls that communicator credibility requires not just status and expertise but also trustworthiness (warmth).”
Fiske and Dupree suggest that low warmth scores for scientists may explain why people are sceptical about global warming claims.
Another interesting part of the study? As NYMag’s Jesse Singal pointed out when it came out, “lawyers are viewed as cold, ruthlessly efficient machines, of course.” Also: people assume blue collar workers aren’t very competent. Also: people really like nurses.
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