Who knew? Good looking people get better jobs


December 6, 2007
Blog Entry, Brain & Behavior

A new study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences finds that the attractiveness of interviewees can significantly bias outcome in hiring practices, showing a clear distinction between the attractive and average looking interviewees in terms of high and low status job packages offered.

“When someone is viewed as attractive, they are often assumed to have a number of positive social traits and greater intelligence,” say Carl Senior and Michael J.R. Butler, authors of the study. “This is known as the ‘halo effect’ and it has previously been shown to affect the outcome of job interviews.” The study explored the influence of the halo effect in a mock job negotiation scenario where male and female interviewers were shown pictures of attractive or average looking male and female job applicants.

Female interviewers were found to allocate attractive looking male interviewees more high status job packages than the average looking men. Female interviewers also gave more high status job packages to attractive men than to attractive women. Average looking men also received more low status job packages than average looking women. Male interviewers did not differ in the number of high or low status job packages that were given to attractive looking interviewees of either sex, though the male interviewers gave out more low status job packages overall, irrespective of the sex of the interviewee.

However, the male interviewers were not entirely without bias. The electrodermal response (EDR), a psycho-physiological response measured when emotions are used to make a preferential decision, of the interviewers was measured. When emotions are used to make a preferential decision, it is thought that the anticipatory EDR level increases. There was a highly significant increase in the anticipatory EDR when the male interviewers assigned the low status job packages to the attractive female candidates. The fact that this difference only occurred when assigning low status job packages ensures that the effect could not have been driven by interpersonal attraction, but rather by emotion. Female interviewers did not exhibit any significant EDR differences, suggesting their bias occurs on a cognitive level.

This study is the first application of EDR to examine the influential role of beauty, status and sex during job negotiations. “From a business point-of-view, there is a need for leaders/managers to be aware of their assumptions in decision-making processes, be they strategic or operational, and that they may be prone to emotion and bias,” say the authors.

From http://www.blackwellpublishing.com


55 Responses to Who knew? Good looking people get better jobs

  1. Embroidery Digitizing November 22, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    When I initially mentioned I visited the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now everytime a statement is included I get four e-mails with the same opinion.

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  3. John April 3, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    I read tens of articles about this topic. Good looking people are not only getting better jobs, but they are better threaten by society in general. Good looking kids are better threaten by teachers and mates in schools (from kinder garden, through elementary school to universities), people trust them more, etc.

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  4. DJ March 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Well duh!

  5. Bubbles12 March 10, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    ‘Your’ is actually ‘you’re’. Maybe your resume needs work.

  6. matt February 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Having been in business awhile I can say attractiveness can help get someone an entry level or sales spot. However if thats the best asset a person has they are in for trouble. The high paying jobs almost always go to the most talented person. Few want to risk wasting money especially these days. Personally I prefer working with less attractive people because life has taught them to persist. I find service is better with less drama from the less attractive. I once worked in company surrounded by pretty people, heck I was probaby hired for that reason as I was right out of college. Drama central and the companies revenues were impacted severey by the lack of unity. Not saying all less attractive people are great to work with, but generally they have developed more appealling business traits than the pretty people.

  7. Grace February 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I don’t really think that it all applies to all the companies that you’ll be applying but taking good care of your self shows in your countenance. Sometimes I get jealous but have overcame it already. Thanks to Marie’s video about overcoming jealousy and here it is http://marieforleo.com/2011/06/jealous-people-industry-watch/

  8. PennyOz February 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Oh Gladys, you didn’t get the job that you had to spam this website…stop posting crap..

  9. Plasma LED LCD difference January 28, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    plasma led lcd difference want to say that lol. It amazing what people will put on public sites.

  10. vdr January 17, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Thanks for the good writeup. It in truth used to be a entertainment account it. Look complex to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we be in contact?

  11. gladys December 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    Hello my new friend my name is Gladys i will like us to be friends
    of good and not of evil you can mail me and tell me of yourself my
    mail is . gladys4good6@yahoo.com . i will send you my pic next mail
    have a nice day
    Gladys.

  12. McC December 14, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    So damn agree! Amazing how humans are misbegotten.

  13. Shaun December 4, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Things Will Get Better . That’s for sure!

  14. http://www.squidoo.com/things-will-get-better December 4, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Yes things get better. It definitely helps to have the opposite sex interview you if you are good looking and handsome when interviewed!!

  15. Visitor from Area 51 October 31, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    I do notice a trend in my industry; the people on top are very “pretty”, but no more qualified then many of the people I work with. In fact, I’d say some might be less, but still, they are met with less resistance, or so it seems to me, then their colleagues, who are obviously more physically challenged. It’s a spartan world out there I suppose; and the “normals” are tossed over the cliff.

  16. Joesmoo October 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    It’s amazing how many of these ‘studies’ always eerily parallel Nazi ideology and white supremacist beliefs. A great deal of these so called researchers secretly hold biased views. Especially in the area of gender and race. As for gender I mean anti-male. Most ‘research’ these days focuses on degrading men on all levels.

  17. ccc September 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Humans are the worse species on Earth. I can’t wait till they are all gone.

  18. annon April 7, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    yea ofcourse looks play some part in job interviews. The way you present yourself will be what the employer first judges you on. As humans we are to some extent shallow, its not the only thing we look for but humans are very visual. Although if i was hiring I wouldn’t be focussed on good looks but more the way the person dressed for the interview, it shows how much you value the position and if you are professional or not.

  19. Lol March 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Erm, I guess there is a great need for the sarcasm font, I can’t believe how many people didn’t get that was sarcasm…

  20. Roopesh March 4, 2011 at 12:35 am #

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  21. TBONE February 4, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    Well I’m just glad I’m good looking. With good looks comes confidence and with confidence comes charisma. No matter how difficult the job it can be learned by almost anyone (repition/practice makes perfect), it is the above qualities that are valued.

  22. Drake December 15, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I wonder if this same technique can be used to determine how race plays a role in hiring…you know it will. Let’s just be honest, some people just get things because they happen to be something that they have had very little control over, yet get to reap the rewards of such. Then they want to act as if they’ve busted their ass their whole life…some probably have worked hard, the rest have been able to coast it.

  23. binana December 11, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    i love you

  24. phoenixx October 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    i can agree with this article a little bit..i know one guy who was hired because the girl hiring thought he was hot..!! lol….he is i have to admit…but i don’t think he knows he got it because of his looks…

  25. SKS October 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    If this study was done with people of similar outgoing confident personalities along with the same qualifications but the only difference between them was their level of attractiveness i would like to see the outcome.

  26. Wow October 22, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    The reason your not getting a job is probably because you have a “diploma” in locksmithing, have poor grammar and understanding of the English language, have baggage (kid), likely spend way to much time on ridiculous, probably trashy nails and makeup, and lastly failed to understand the article whatsoever.

  27. Ha October 14, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    Its probally that you spend time doing your hair and nails instead of getting ready for an interview. Just be yourself dress consertive and stop smiling and flirting with a future boss.

  28. sydney October 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    go one but true

  29. Nova Scotia Gal October 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Again….the good looking person does not always get the job they want…
    been there, applied for the job..didnt get it….
    CAUSE I AM A GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!

    I look pretty, do my hair nails , wear make up…and at my house I run a salon., have a child, run our farm with numerous animals and I love it…
    My locksmithing diploma got me NOTHING…neither did the Landscaping and Gardening…. just because I like to look pretty..I wear jeans and t’s and can put on work boots and work as hard as a man….and like to shoot a gun..NAILS and all! LOL
    Amazing how the world to this day is so subjective to how they THINK people are…or what they should be doing…
    It really P*!@#@S me off……

  30. Nova Scotia Gal October 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I do agree there is judgement made so quick on a persons appearance…. I am attracctive…(so I have been told..)
    any job I apply for outside of my hairdressing field…even though I have a diploma in Locksmithing and Landscaping and Gardening…I CAN NOT find a job!
    I woodwork, love tools, fixing vehicles etc..but because i am in the “pretty” category I never get hired…even though I have knowledge..and I am not trying to me a show off or smug.

    It IRRITATES me….if your pretty your seen as dumb or should stay in a proffession you LOOK like you should be in…..
    yup..that is Nova Scotia for ya.

  31. Anon October 4, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Whilst I don’t like the sound of this, I have to admit it’s true. I was once hired for a job and was thrilled, only to discover that the person who hired me was an avid Elvis fan and was struck by my resemblance to him. Maybe hirers should be male from now on.

  32. Anonymous September 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I see I talked with u this morning..But I would like to talk with u ..I hope u can
    Melissa Carmona from Mexico

  33. Lana August 25, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I am so agree with you!!!! I’ve always been judged by my look…. “Oh, she is gorgeous, perhaps there is no brain function going on whatsoever”…. I am so sick of it!!! And this is with the fact that I work in finance and studying to get the designation… If there is no brain, how would I pass the brutal exams????? But I do pass with flying colors….

  34. Mike August 12, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    Too bad you need a job before you can even think about plastic surgery haha. A well paying job furthermore.

  35. Travis August 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Its human nature, good thing there is plastic surgery.

  36. Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    I’m a goodlooking guy also…

    Athletic body and share ALOT of similarity with a young Mark Wahlberg…

    I’m unemployed… sure I have zero certificates and qualifications… but

    “Certification doesn’t make you smarter than me.”

    Whilst the more attractive of us are getting biased treatment based on our looks…

    We STILL have to actually get off our ass and GO LOOK for a job, APPLY for a job, look into the company history, sort out a speech, prepare the CV… yadda yadda…

    We STILL have to do all the things the lesser attractive people have to do when looking and applying for a job…

    Sure I can see why less attractive people are pissed when breasts are picked over brains… I’ll say this though… how long you think that job will last for them? How long you think their looks will last them?

    Women… upto around 30… downhill from there generally…
    Men, ok Men get better looking with age if we look after ourselves…

    My point being… Beauty over Brains…

    Are you planning a career for the long term or short term?

    Short term gain, long term pain
    short term pain, long term gain…

    Not rocket science… besides.,..would you really want to work in a corporation/business like that?

    I know I wouldnt and I AM sexy!

    I’m also intelligent… it actually sucks… I can see how much majority of Women and even Gays act like animals with their primal urges on the average intelligence levels!

    Anyways fellow Brains, Beauties hurt more than anything we’ll ever feel… “I don’t understand” is probs the most self-depreciating thing you could ever say on a REGULAR basis!

    P.S In the case of not being heavily dominated by brains or beauty and both are heavily in abundance in a person… and your losing a job to THEM… wake up… this is the World we’re living it… learn some physchology and persuasion techniques already and stop moaning!

    ///////////SPOILER ALERT//////////////

    It’s ALL about confidence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    K Thnx Bye.

  37. Anonymous April 19, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Check it out! http://www.coolres.com. Normal jobs, but you upload your resume AND PHOTO. Finally, someone “gets” it. Hiring IS based (partially) on looks, so you SHOULD be able to leverage your looks (just like your intelligence, experience, skills, etc. etc.).

    I read somewhere that a huge percentage of a hiring decision is based on first impressions (visual). So if you’ve got it, you’d be nuts not to flaunt it.

    – Melissa

  38. Anonymous March 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Well i’m a good looking male and have to ask, where are the better jobs..? And I say this with all honesty, I must be looking In the wrong bloody places.!

  39. Anonymous March 22, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    This is unfortunately, a very sad reality. No matter how good of a person or humble of a person the homely looking person tries to be, the good looking person always wins. The eye is glued to the attractive and these people are in a sense looked at as eye candy and are the first to be able to choose mates and reproduce. This is really terrible terrible reality of life. However, it is the personality in the end that counts. Wow… life…..

  40. Anonymous November 9, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    All right,

    Person above me,

    You’re psycho.

  41. Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    lol glad im good lookin

  42. Anonymous September 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    this is ridiculous

  43. Anonymous December 13, 2007 at 5:04 am #

    I just hope the women of the Halo Race remember to take time off their successful careers to bless the rest of the population with more Halo babies.

  44. Anonymous December 9, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    As it should be.

    Genetically sound people are beautiful.

    The finest races display beauty in greeater proportion than other groups.

    Good breeding means selecting the most beautiful people to mate with.

  45. Anonymous April 18, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    In my opinion, how you feel is how you look. If I see a well dressed confident person with a zest for life. I think to myself they got the look. I have seen some really proportionately eye pleasing people whom I feel no attraction to because of how they view life and how they hold themselves. we are all able to be the good looking person. Its just a matter of choice. look at that sexy Rodney Dangerfield!!

  46. Anonymous March 20, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Hello Dear,
    I am Mr douglas brown ,i am 47 Years Old, From United Kingdom. I work in a KGM – Mobile Network a telecommunication Company in UK and I don’t usually stays home unless during weekends..I will like you to know that i have just two kids which name is ANABEL Duke and DOUGLAS JR BROWN, they are a boy and a Girl they are just 4 and 6 years old.I want male or female nanny who will be take care my home because i only left my kids at home after my wife die in car accident last year. And I have an apartment room for them that would be taking care of them in my house.So i will like you to know that I will be paying you 3,500 BRITISH POUNDS for every month and a pocket money of 200 POUNDS per week for the buying of some things for your self and i will also be responsible for some of the money for your traveling documents but you have to agree that i will pay for your Visa and you will pay for your working permit.
    And the working hour is just 4 hours per day and your responsibility in my house is just to take care of my daughters, cooking, taking them on shopping, taking them to where the school bus will pick them up from which is just 2 km ahead from home. And also you have a private room bathroom toilet and also if you wish to be having free period from 5 pm to 6 pm are acceptable.. So i will like you to get back to me if you are interested in being my nanny for my Kids.
    Reply to my personal email: mr.douglas002@yahoo.com, i will send you my family picture and my phone numbers if you are interested
    I hope to hear from you soon.
    Regards
    Mr Douglas Brown

  47. Anonymous March 5, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    This is why this world is so twisted..because everyone is so quick to judge people without even knowing them..why do people do this?????

  48. Anonymous December 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    I think it depends on the place you are looking for a job and what type of job. There is bias in this world with everything unfortunately, and people do stereotype. Opposite of what’s been said, I think attractive people are stereotyped into being “looks but no brains” or prima donnas. Many attractive people I have known have been treated differently with bosses hanging over them with distrust for their accomplishments. It’s like…gee you can’t be smart too. I think attractive men are not as stereotyped since women love to be around them and men do not have the catty thing going on.

  49. Anonymous December 2, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    You’re always told that appearance is the most important thing in a job interview, so I figured looks play an important part.

    The manager from my first real job took this to the extreme though. He’d always hire the best looking (high-school!) girls, then “show them the ropes.” Also, he actually told me he wouldn’t hire anyone that wasn’t white.

    This could explain why I have so hard of a time getting work :) I’m not sure how attractive I am, but since people rarely complement me on my looks, I’m guessing I’m not model material :)

    I do think this is wrong, and that people that hire should make a conscious effort not to fall for it.

  50. Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    looks are subjective

  51. Anonymous October 18, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    being fat do not make you ugly…..

    and some people don’t get jobs cause others are jealous of them! or think you might take their job, this article is based on ignorance! my dad owns a shop, we’ve had the the most prettiest girls the the world looking for jobs but the where turned down straight away! and some people use A LOTTTTTTTTTT of make up to hide what they really actually look like, but this doesn’t make them ugly!.

    i apply online for job I’ve never been accepted, and stores but seriously i have bad maths gcse grades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and you need maths! .. lol as for the Skinny part???!!!!! lolllllllllll i’m skinny, and slightly tall and i still can’t get a job! being tall and skinny don’t make you beautiful! only get looked at a lot when i were skirts! which i hate

    oh yeah I am Ugly n I feel Ugly

  52. Anonymous October 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Well…these days what is good-looking is becoming more subjective, as globalization is under way. Who are the so called ‘finest races’? With all the race mixing taking place, a simple stereotype won’t do.

  53. Anonymous September 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    A better question for this article would be, Who didn’t know?

  54. Anonymous July 3, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    I remember when i got my first job at fast food , when i got my first check i saw i was making more then everybody else at my level.

    Most of the guys were paid 7.00 an hour, however i was paid 9.50 an hour. lol.

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