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            研究:娃娃脸的黑人CEO更具亲和力

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            As President Barack Obama commemorates his 100th day as the country's first black commander-in-chief, a new study by Kellogg School of Management researchers examines the intersection of race and power in corporate America. While many traits of successful leaders transcend racial or ethnic bounds, this study sought to focus on one particular facet of blacks' ascensions to power: the physical characteristics of so-called "babyfaces," and their influence on perception and achievement.

            "The Teddy Bear Effect: Does babyfaceness benefit Black CEOs?" will appear in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science and is co-authored by Robert Livingston and Nicholas Pearce of the Kellogg School.

            Searching for traits common to black CEOs who have successfully navigated treacherous cultural and corporate terrain, the researchers demonstrate that babyfaces – and perceived warmer physical appearances and personality traits – can benefit black CEOs and act as disarming mechanisms within the social hierarchy. Black CEOs categorized as having a babyface tend to be at the helm of more prestigious corporations than black CEOs who have a more mature appearance.

            "Prior research has shown babyface-type traits are a liability for those striving for a leadership role because they undermine perceptions of competence, but these studies focused on white males," said Livingston, lead author and assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management. "Because a babyface is disarming, we hypothesized that it would provide an advantage to black leaders who have a history of being stigmatized as too threatening to occupy positions of high power."

            Methodology

            Non-black women and men were shown 40 headshot photos of black men and white women and men. Though the faces were not recognized by participants, all were current or former CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

            Participants were asked to rate how babyfaced, how attractive, and also how old, each person appeared. They also rated each in terms of perceived personality traits. For example, how warm did a person appear? How competent would they be as a leader? Participants were then asked to use those same personality criteria to rate, in general, how they perceive blacks and whites. Finally, participants guessed how much money each person earned.

            Babyface Definition

            The researchers have identified several traits associated with "babyfaceness" including a rounder face, larger forehead, smaller nose, larger ears and fuller, pouty lips. Despite these individual features, babyface is a "gestalt" or whole that is easily recognizable by people. Babyfaceness is an attribute that generalizes across regions, ethnicities, gender and even species, as identified by social psychologists. There is a universal, evolutionary response to babies across all cultures because infants require special care, attention, and nurturing in order to survive.

            This adaptive response to infants is over-generalized to adults who have features that resemble babies. The result is that babyfaced adults are treated differently compared with maturefaced adults: babyfaced adults are considered more warm, innocent and trustworthy.

            The hypothesis of the current study was that babyfaceness could serve as a "disarming mechanism" that would attenuate the fear, hostility and agGREssion typically associated with black males. Thus babyfaceness would facilitate the ascension of black males but not white males.

            Results

            Babyface features had a clear influence on professional achievement, both perceived and real. Black CEOs were rated as being more babyfaced, and having warmer personalities, than whites.

            The more babyfaced the black CEO, the more he was also thought to earn. In terms of real, not just perceived, earnings and achievement, the more babyfaced the black CEO, the more prestigious was the company he actually led, reflected by both Fortune 500 ranking and annual corporate revenue. These perceived and real professional benefits were correlated with physical appearance, not to perceptions of age, which was not found to be linked to babyfaceness.

            Livingston pointed out that while the 10 black CEO faces were considered warmer than the white faces, blacks as a group were considered less warm than whites overall. Thus, the visual influence of babyfaceness clearly shifted perception, and the playing field. He said, "To function effectively as an African American male in the U.S. it helps to have a disarming mechanism." A disarming mechanism is a physical or behavioral trait, noted Livingston, that eases perceptions of threat—it signals to whites that they do not have a reason to fear this particular black individual. Babyfaceness is but one example: political conservatism, style of speech or dress, smiling behavior, or even a Harvard education might also serve a similar disarming function.

            The research notes disarming mechanisms, like warmth, are only necessary for groups that are perceived to be hostile or threatening by default. Prior research has shown warmth to be counterproductive for white male leaders and women leaders. "Female leaders are already 'disarmed' because of traditional caregiver roles and stereotypes," said Livingston. "Women leaders must prove to be strong and assertive, frequently at the expensive of being perceived as lacking warmth." The implication is that black leaders may have to adopt a gentler leadership style compared with white males who can get angry or pound their fists in order to accomplish leadership objectives.

            Beyond the Babyface

            While facial features may present natural advantages or obstacles to some, other behavioral traits can be developed and used by most anyone. "There are other mechanisms thought to help minorities function and achieve without stoking envy, resentment, fear," said Livingston. "For example, some point to Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as someone who internalizes shared ideology with the dominant group, and is therefore seen as non-threatening." Livingston adds that although Barack Obama does not possess all of the typical features associated with babyfaceness per se, he does have a disarming appearance. "Big ears or a simple smile can disarm one's appearance from suggested perceptions of threat that might otherwise be associated with black males. This could serve to increase the appeal of the president or even one of Hollywood's most successful actors—Will Smith," he said




             

            当美国第一位黑人总统奥巴马执政100天,凯洛格商学院的研究人员在美国企业中展开了一项种族和强权的交叉点的新研究。然而很多成功领导者的品质超越了种族或道德的边缘,这项研究是寻找专注于黑人提升的某一特殊的力量:所谓娃娃脸的人体特性和他们对感知和成就的影响。

            “玩具熊”效应:娃娃都对黑人CEO有利吗?这将出现在罗伯特·利文斯通和尼古拉斯·皮尔斯发表在 《心理科学》期刊上的文章。

            寻找黑人CEO在险流中成功航行的文化和公司形式的共同点。研究人员证明了娃娃脸—亲切的外表和性格特点—对黑人CEO有利并且在社会等级中充当让人放松警惕的角色。黑人CEO分类为长着娃娃脸的和具有成熟外观的,在很多著名的企业里娃娃脸的CEO比有成熟外观的更容易掌权。

            “先前的研究表明娃娃脸类型的特征是那些努力追求领导角色的一种责任,因为他们破坏的认知的能力,不过这些研究只是专注也白人,”利文斯顿说,模范作家和凯洛格商学院管理系的助理教授。“由于娃娃脸然人放松警惕,我们得出假说,即娃娃脸能有利于黑人领袖,过去他们被污名化,说他们太过威胁而不可被授予高位。

            方法论

            40张黑人男性和白人女性和男性的特写照片被非黑人的妇女和男人展示出来。尽管那些人没有被参与者认出,那些都是现在或者以前财富500强的CEO.

            参与者要求评价娃娃脸的程度,吸引力多大,还有每个人的年龄和表现如何。他们也根据人体特性的感知额定每个人。例如,一个人怎让表现出温暖,他们能否胜任领导岗位。随后参与者被要求用同样的标准来衡量,总体来说,他们是如何看待黑人和白人的。最后,参与者要推测每个人能赚多少钱。

            娃娃脸的定义

            研究人员已确认了一些与娃娃脸相符的特征,包括圆脸,大额头,小鼻子,大耳朵,还有丰满,微翘的嘴唇。尽管这些个性特征是娃娃脸的完形或者全部,很容易被认出。娃娃脸是一种属性,概括了跨区域,种族,性别甚至物种,正如社会心理学家认为的那样。对婴儿有一种普遍,进化的反应,因为为了生存,婴儿需要特别的照顾,关注,和培养。

            跟婴儿相似的成人对婴儿的适应反应过度普遍。结果是对待娃娃脸的成人跟成熟脸的成人是不同的,娃娃脸的成人被认为更易相处,天真和值得信任。

            本研究假设,特别与黑人男性有关的娃娃脸像一个让人放松警惕的机器,让人消除恐惧,敌意和进攻。这样的娃娃脸对黑人男性的提升有利,而不是对白人男性。

            研究结果

            娃娃脸特征对幻想和现实的专业成就有明确的影响。黑人CEO被评为与白人相比更具娃娃脸,更热情。

            黑人CEO越多,就越想得到更多。根据现实,而不是幻想,收入与成就,黑人CEO越多,就越多知名企业被他们领导,反射出财富500强的排名和企业的年度收入。这些认知与现实的职业福利与外在表现有关,而不是年龄的认知,跟娃娃脸没有关联。

            利文斯顿指出,当10个黑人CEO被认为比白人更热情时,黑人作为一个总体被人为比全部白人更少热情。因此,有视觉上影响的娃娃脸民明显地转移到认知和比赛场地上了。他说,“为了有效运作,美国的非裔美国人充当让人松弛的机器。”让人松弛的机器是物理或者行为特征,利文斯顿写到,能放松对威胁的感知 ——它向没有理由害怕某些黑人的白人作信号。娃娃脸只是一个例子:政治保守主义,语言或穿着的风格,微笑的行为,或者乃至哈佛教育也可能作为撤防功能。

            研究表明撤防机制,像热情,对那些察觉到默认的敌意或威胁的组织是必需的。之前的研究表明热情对白人男性领导者和女性领导者起反作用。“女性领导者早已消除敌意因为传统母性角色和模式,”利文斯通说,“女性领导者被证明是坚强的和独断的,经常被认为缺乏温情。”这个含义是与为了完成领导目标只能发怒或者敲打自己拳头的白人男性领导者相比,黑人领导者可能不得不通过优雅的领袖风格来完成领导的目标。

            超越娃娃脸

            当面部特征可能呈现出自然优势或者某些障碍,其他的行为特征被大多数人所利用。“其他的机制想法能帮助少数民族在没有妒忌,怨恨,恐惧中运作和实现成功。”利文斯通说。“例如,一些指向美国国务卿赖斯像使主要团体共享的意识形态内在化的人一样比看作是没有危险的。”利文斯通说尽管奥巴马没有所有的与娃娃脸本身相关联的典型特征。他也有让人消除敌意的外表。“大耳朵或者简单的微笑能解除潜在的与黑人男性有关的威胁。这些足以能够增加总统的呼吁乃至好莱坞著名演员——威尔。史密斯,”他说。

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