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Working paper

Perceived Intelligence and Long-term Stigmatization Towards Dirty Workers

Terskova M., Agadullina E.
Expectations of people with high and low intelligence differ considerably. High intelligence is associated with several desirable social outcomes, while low intelligence is associated with low social status and poverty. We assumed that attributing high intelligence to a person could lead to a more positive evaluation of them and, as a result, less negative attitudes toward them. In the experimental study (N = 781) we investigated how levels of perceived intelligence impact the long-term stigmatization of dirty workers. The results show that perceived high intelligence of dirty workers decreases long-term stigmatization towards them, but these findings relate only to people performing moral dirty work. Implicit theories about intelligence were controlled as a covariate and had no significant effect. Results are discussed in terms of the positive effect of perceived high intelligence on everyday perception. Limitations and future directions are also discussed.