The concept of deviational salience attempts to explain an aspect of the relationship between self-perception and perception in general. When individuals perceive themselves as deviating from the perceived norm of a salient environmental stimulus, that stimulus becomes even more meaningful. Verification involved the influence of self-perception of own stature by 314 high school boys aged 15 to 18 yr., who were asked to rate 12 occupations in terms of prestige and physical stature. Analysis indicated that subjects, regardless of their self-perceptions, perceived stature to be a meaningful feature and stereotypically associated higher prestige occupations with taller stature. However, subjects who perceived themselves as short more closely associated the criterial variables than did those who perceived themselves as average and tall. No significant difference between those self-perceived as average and tall groups was ascertained, suggesting that the direction of the perceived deviation is critical.
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