The Subjective Perception of Social Objects: An Exploratory Inquiry Based on the Importance of the Opinions of Reference Groups
The study aimed to explore the organization of the perception of social objects associated with everyday life topics and its relationship with the importance ascribed to them by different social groups. The convenience sample was composed by 315 undergraduate university students from 3 universities from the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina and Rondônia. The participants completed an online questionnaire evaluating the importance granted by 7 social groups (e.g., family, colleagues) to 9 social objects (e.g., work, marriage). A non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis was performed, based on Euclidean distances calculated using the mean scores associated with each object map. The perceptual map thus produced revealed 2 dimensions: one containing professional and affective objects and another that includes topics connected with the future. The article discusses the pertinence of including some of the reference groups studied in research of social representation and the limitations of the study.