How Accurate are Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance?

Appearance, including facial expression, posture, and clothing provide important visual communications to observers. To evaluate observers’ accuracy in judging personality traits based on the appearance of people they didn’t know, Sonoma State University’s Laura Naumann, with Simine Vazire of Washington University in St. Louis, University of Cambridge’s Peter Rentfrow, and Samuel Gosling of University of Texas at […]

Defining Elusive Elements of “Executive Presence”

Fewer researchers have empirically investigated behaviors and characteristics associated with “Executive Presence” than the number of consultants offering recommendations on how to develop this quality and its potential association with career advancement. Communication, “Gravitas”, and Appearance were associated with “executive presence” in a study by Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Talent Innovation Interviews with […]

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

Although attractive people enjoy many advantages, attractive women applying for jobs in traditionally male jobs face a double disadvantage: gender and appearance. The “beauty is beastly effect” is a hiring bias favoring men or less attractive women for “masculine” jobs, first described by Yale University’s Madeline E. Heilman and Lois R. Saruwatari. They found that attractiveness was an advantage for […]

Gender Transitions Demonstrate Continuing Gender Differences in Pay, Workplace Experience

People who change gender illustrate 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 […]

The Attractiveness Bias: “Cheerleader Effect”, Positive Attributions, and “Distinctive Accuracy”

Want to be seen as more attractive?  Be part of a group. 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. This occurs because the brain’s perceptual system computes a statistical summary representation – “an ensemble,” and is […]

Attractive Men May Appear More Competent, But May Not Be Hired

Previous blog posts have noted bias in favor of attractive people for hiring and venture funding decisions, as well as for positive impression formation by others. As a result, less attractive yet capable individuals may face “workplace attractiveness discrimination,” according to Sun Young Lee of University College London, University of Maryland’s Marko Pitesa, Madan Pillutla of […]

Plastic Surgery Changes Perceived Personality Traits

People often evaluate others using facial profiling — making inferences of personality attributes by visual observation, according to 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. The research team asked […]

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 […]