Pink with no strings
: a study on color and impression formation on competence

  • Bárbara Marques Martins Rodrigues (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The current study revisited the Competence vs Likeability preference in corporatecontext and in a team member selection task, introducing clothing color as potentialimplicit factor in this choice. To meet this purpose, two studies were conducted: study 1counted with a total of 35 individuals and aimed to select the facial stimuli (from a subsetof neutral and happy faces taken from the KDEF image base) that were most consistentlyperceived as those of competent or likeable individuals; study 2 was aimed atunderstanding how pink, blue and white impacted the decision-making process ofchoosing collaborators to work with. A total of 348 individuals participated in this secondstudy. Study 1results showed that smiling individuals are perceived as likeable but notcompetent while not smiling ones are perceived non-likeable but competent. Picturesselected from study one’s most convergent targets in the Competence and Likeabilityattribution were manipulated to appear dressed either in pink, blue or white and distributedrandomly in pairs of candidates to choose from. As expected according to previous studies,study 2 participants chose to work with likeability over competence. Was also expectedthat preferences on who to work with would be influenced by color gender stereotypes.Based on the assumption that violation of stereotype expectancy is unfavorable inimpression formation, participants also confirmed hypotheses on the effect of color: whendressed in pink, competent targets were less chosen; they were, however chosen whendressed in white or blue.
Date of Award26 Jan 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAugusta Gaspar (Supervisor)


  • White
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Color of the outfit
  • Competence
  • Likeability
  • Impression
  • Formation
  • Smile


  • Mestrado em Psicologia na Gestão e Economia

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