Children’s personality judgements of dominant and submissive teachers

  • Herman J. G. Soppe


Videorecordings of seven adults, presented as teachers, were shown to 187 8 to 13-year-old children. The adults played a dominant or a submissive role. The children’s task was to judge the adults on 19 five-point scales, each of which measured a psychological attribute or a teacher quality. The results shown that 1) the judgements had a clear factorial structure; 2) the role played by the targets and the age of the children significantly influenced the judgements: in their dominant role more teacher qualities and more positive characteristics were ascribed to the targets; the younger children produced more positive judgements than the older ones. It was concluded that short observations of behaviour may be sufficient for children to ascribe psychological characteristics to unfamiliar people and that these ascriptions seem to be based on implicit personality theories.

Key words

Children Personality judgements Implicit personality theory Nonverbal behaviour Dominance 


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman J. G. Soppe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TilburgTilburgThe Netherlands

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