Impression Formation of Male and Female Millennial Students Wearing Eye Glasses or Hearing Aids

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine impressions of persons wearing hearing aids (HA) and glasses. A survey consisting of impression formation measures was administered to 569 participants. Factor analysis and a series of T-tests were used to examine the effect of wearing glasses and hearing aids on first impressions. T-tests indicated significant differences between the control and glasses style for both the male and female model. Male and female control models (without glasses) were rated more positively. Another series of t-tests between hearing aid styles and the control indicated significant differences for the heavier, more visible hearing aid with the control model being rated higher on every factor except “reliable”. There were almost no significant differences between the control and the light, less visible hearing aid for either the male or the female. Correlations among traits differ as a function of both stimulus person and relevance of trait. Data indicates that different types of hearing aids stimulate varying impressions. The findings have implications for advising potential HA users who are disinclined to wear a device for cosmetic reasons. Findings support other literature on impression formation and the hearing aid effect. However, the findings are encouraging, as hearing aid use has historically been associated with an impression of lower cognitive function, yet participants did not indicate a significant perceptual difference between the hearing aid user and the control, possibly indicating stronger social acceptance.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We desired to ask the same question regarding impressions of persons wearing hearing aids by survey participants wearing hearing aids. A very low response (n = 1) of survey participants wearing hearing aids made this question impractical in the present study.

  2. 2.

    Since a significant difference was computed between the male control groups for the factor, Good Looking, statistics were computed between the means for the glasses factors and the control factors for Group 4. Results were very similar. For the dark frames, t(127) = 26.35, p < .001, d= 0.34. For the lightweight frames, t(88) = 32.60, p < .001, d = 0.10. In both cases, the control target without glasses was rated higher.

  3. 3.

    Since a significant difference was computed between the male control groups for the factor, Good Looking, statistics were conducted between the means for the hearing aid factors and the control factors for Group 2. Results were very similar. For the bulky hearing aid, t(173) = 34.58, p < .001, d = 0.59, and for the light hearing aid, t(173) = 31.82, p < .001, d = 0.38. In both cases, the control target without a hearing aid was rated higher.

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Appendices

Appendix A

See Table 6.

Table 6 Survey stimuli

Appendix B

See Table 7.

Table 7 Factor analysis for male and female control models

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Kinley, T., Strübel, J. & Amlani, A. Impression Formation of Male and Female Millennial Students Wearing Eye Glasses or Hearing Aids. J Nonverbal Behav 43, 357–379 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-019-00296-0

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Keywords

  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Impression formation