Wilson, Andrew and Moudraia, O. (2003) Interactive effects of shoe style and verbal cues on perceptions of female physicians' personal attributes. . (Unpublished)
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether shoe style has any effect on perceptions of a female physician's personal characteristics when viewed alongside a transcript of a short outpatient consultation. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty postgraduate students of management or computer science. Twenty-five questionnaires were actually completed. DESIGN: Respondents were randomly assigned to one of three groups, balanced for gender. Each group saw one stimulus combination: consultation transcript only; transcript combined with photograph of 'physician' wearing "conservative" black boots; transcript combined with photograph of 'physician' wearing "trendy" multicoloured boots. All participants completed the same questionnaire. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Perceptions of the physician's approachability, professional image, ability to empathize with the patient, and amount of specialist experience, measured using five-point scales. RESULTS: When viewed with the consultation transcript, perceptions of the physician wearing "trendy" multicoloured boots showed no significant difference from those of her wearing "conservative" black boots. There was a near-significant effect for approachability, with the physician in black boots being more approachable than the physician in multicoloured boots (p=0.0630). When viewed with the consultation transcript, perceptions of the physician wearing either "trendy" multicoloured boots or "conservative" black boots showed no significant difference from perceptions based on the the consultation transcript alone. CONCLUSIONS: Shoe style does not appear to influence perceptions of female physicians when combined with verbal cues. However, the research requires replication with a larger sample. The incorporation of qualitative response and/or multimodal videotaped stimuli may improve study designs in this area.
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