How Accurate are Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance?

-*How accurate are inferences made from other people’s appearance, including facial expression, posture, and clothing? Sonoma State University’s Laura Naumann, with Simine Vazire then of Washington University in St. Louis, teamedwith University of Cambridge’s Peter Rentfrow, and Samuel Gosling of University of Texas at Austin, to investigate this question. They asked volunteers to rate 10 personality traits, […]

Attractive Men May Appear Competent, But May Not Be Hired

Previous blog posts documented bias favouring attractive people for hiring, venture funding, and positive impressions by others. Capable but less attractive individuals may encounter “workplace attractiveness discrimination,” reported Sun Young Lee of University College London, University of Maryland’s Marko Pitesa, Madan Pillutla of London Business School, and INSEAD’s Stefan Thau. Their studies found that people making […]

Plastic Surgery Changes Perceived Personality Traits

People often infer others’ personality attributes from visual cues, called facial profiling by Georgetown University Hospital’s Michael J. Reilly, Jaclyn A. Tomsic and Steven P. Davison, collaborating with Stephen J. Fernandez of MedStar Health Research Institute.This cognitive shortcut can lead to biased impressions and limited opportunities for those unfavorably judged. These researchers asked raters to evaluate photographs of 30 […]

Defining Elusive Elements of “Executive Presence”

Communication, “Gravitas”, and Appearance were most-frequently cited attributes of Executive Presence in a study by Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Talent Innovation. Interviews with 34 professionals, conducted by Perspex Consulting’s Gavin Dagley and Cadeyrn J. Gaskin, formerly of Deakin University, identified more elements than Hewitt’s proposed triad of qualities. Most executives described as having “presence” were […]

Acknowledge Potential Employer “Concerns” about Gender, Attractiveness to Get Job Offer

Although physically attractive people enjoy the advantage of others’ positive impressions, women applying for jobs in traditionally male jobs may be disadvantaged by female gender and attractive appearance. The “beauty is beastly effect” is a hiring bias favoring men or less attractive women for “masculine” jobs, described by Yale University’s Madeline E. Heilman and Lois R. Saruwatari. They […]

Gender Transitions Demonstrate Continuing Gender Differences in Pay, Workplace Experience

People who change gender demonstrate the impact of gender on workplace experience and compensation, while holding constant the person’s education and experience. Two Stanford professors’ experience in gender transition highlight findings by University of Chicago’s Kristen Schilt. Stanford’s Joan Roughgarden, was an evolutionary biologist for more than 25 years as Jonathan Roughgarden before she made […]

Attractiveness Bias in Groups

Individuals were rated as more attractive when they were observed in a group rather than alone, reported University of California, San Diego’s Drew Walker and Edward Vul. The perceptual system “computes” a statistical summary representation of “an ensemble” – a group – and is biased toward perceiving the ensemble average as attractive, they wrote. Individuals are […]

Self-Perceived Attractiveness Shapes Views of Social Hierarchies

Cosmetic surgery is the fastest-growing medical expenditure in the U.S, and Americans spend more on personal grooming than on reading material. Even during the recession of 2008, Americans spent at least $200 billion on products and services to enhance their appearances, according to Stanford’s Margaret Neale and Peter Belmi, now of University of Virginia. Personal […]

Attractive Appearance Helps Men – but not Women – Gain Business Funding

Entrepreneurs create jobs and contribute to economic growth with early investment by financial backers who trust the perceived business proposal’s viability and the founders’ previous experience. Additional implicit criteria for new venture-funding include gender and physical attractiveness, asserted Harvard’s Alison Wood Brooks, Laura Huang of Wharton, MIT’s Sarah Wood Kearney and Fiona E. Murray. Brooks and […]

When Appearance Matters for Career Development

Numerous social science studies link perceived attractiveness with perceived competence and likeability, including a meta-analysis by Michigan State University’s Linda Jackson, John E. Hunter and Carole N. Hodge. They found that physically attractive people are perceived as more intellectually competent, based on their research on “status generalization” theory and “implicit personality” theory. Women who wore cosmetics were rated […]