The influence of clothing on sociability, emotional stability, and dominance
Cosbey, Sarah L.
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The goal of this study was to determine whether a positive or negative evaluation of one's clothing would affect one's behavior in terms of sociability, emotional stability, and dominance. Clothing interest and fashion opinion leadership were also measured to examine whether they were related to the affect of one's evaluation of one's clothing on his or her level of these three traits. Subjects for the study consisted of 124 female undergraduates from Northern Illinois University enrolled in courses from the Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising curriculum. A research instrument was developed that measured sociability, emotional stability, and dominance with and without a positive or negative "feeling toward clothing" variable. Gurel and Gurel's 1979 factor analysis of Creekmore's "Importance of Clothing" questionnaire was used as a source for items measuring general clothing interest and five separate dimensions of clothing interest. Items were also borrowed from Schrank and Gilmore's 1974 instrument measuring fashion opinion leadership. Repeated measures t-tests revealed significant differences between sociability, emotional stability, and dominance measures with and without the feeling toward clothing variable. The analyses showed a significant increase in the scores measuring each of the three traits when a positive feeling toward clothing existed, and a significant decrease in the scores measuring each of the three traits when a negative feeling toward clothing existed. MANOVA was used in determining whether clothing interest, each of the five dimensions of clothing interest, and fashion opinion leadership influenced the effect of the subjects' feelings toward their clothing on their sociability, emotional stability, and dominance. General clothing interest, clothing interest as a heightened awareness of clothes, and clothing interest as an enhancement of security were found to be significantly related to the influence of a positive or negative' feeling toward clothing on each of the three traits.