Babyfaces, trait inferences, and company evaluations in a public relations crisis

Gerald Gorn, Yuwei Jiang, Gita Venkataramani Johar

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate the effects of babyfaceness on the trustworthiness and judgments of a company's chief executive officer in a public relations crisis. Experiment 1 demonstrates boundary conditions for the babyfaceness-honesty trait inference and its influence on company evaluations. Experiment 2 shows that trait inferences of honesty are drawn spontaneously but are corrected in the presence of situational evidence (a severe crisis) if cognitive resources are available. We demonstrate that these babyface-trait associations underlie evaluations by reversing the baby-face effect on judgments in (a) experiment 3, where a priming task creates associations counter to the typical babyface - unintentional harm stereotype, and (b) experiment 4, which creates a situation where innocence is a liability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-49
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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