Who knew? Good looking people get better jobs

December 6, 2007 |

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.

    feel invited to my site: http://www.resumesimo.com

  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

  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!!


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    […] http://scienceblog.com/14974/who-knew-good-looking-people-get-better-jobs/ […]

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