Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Social Class Differences

  • Nur Soylu YalcinkayaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1828-1



Researchers often define objective social class as one’s position in the society based on their education, occupation, and income level, whereas subjective social class refers to one’s perception of their own position in the society relative to others (Kraus and Stephens 2012). Social class differences are differences that emerge across individuals from relatively higher (middle or upper) and lower (working) social classes in psychological tendencies, as well as in outcomes in domains such as health and education.


Social class corresponds to a material and symbolic world that people inhabit and regularly engage with, as opposed to being an inherent property of individuals; it plays an important role in shaping their psychological patterns, as well as health and education outcomes (Kraus and Stephens 2012; Snibbe and Markus 2005). Objective indicators of social class that researchers commonly use include income,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KansasLawrenceUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Cottrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesNew College of FloridaSarasotaUSA