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What your shoes say about you

Footwear can have a powerful effect on first impressions.

By Allure Magazine Nov 27, 2012 5:01PM
Photo: Courtesy of AllureBy Lois B. Morris, Allure magazine

People often form opinions about strangers from a glance at their shoes. A study led by Omri Gillath, an associate professor of social psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, has tested the accuracy of those assumptions.

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Participants not only made good guesses about people's age and earning based on their shoes, they also correctly associated feminine-looking shoes with agreeableness, and dull, neutral-colored shoes with anxiety about being rejected or abandoned by others.

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Among the many wrong assumptions: that politically liberal people wear cheap, round-toed, unattractive shoes in poor repair, and that emotional stability correlates with the absence of high heels and pointy toes.

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