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 […]


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, […]

Developing “Big 8” Job Competencies

Better job performance is associated with eight capabilities known as “The Big 8”, according to Korn-Ferry International’s George Hallenbeck, in the Leadership Architect® Library of Competencies: • Dealing with Ambiguity, • Creativity, • Innovation Management, • Strategic Agility, • Planning, • Motivating Others, • Building Effective Teams, • Managing Vision & Purpose. He analyzed more than 1500 ratings […]

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 […]

Development and Impact of Evidence-Based Coaching

Coaching guided by insights from Transformational Learning Theory by Columbia University’s Jack Mezirow and Cognitive Behavior Modification by Aaron Beck of University of Pennsylvania. Cognitive behavior modification identifies habitual automatic thoughts, thinking errors, self-talk, and underlying core beliefs that interfere with goal achievement. These empirically-validated approaches have been effective in sustaining changes in thoughts and related behaviors, leading to greater capacity to achieve goals. Coaching’s Impact on Organizations and Individuals Coaching has been shown to […]

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 […]

Clothing Influences Thinking and Behavior, not Just Others’ Perceptions

A previous post highlighted the influence of the body on thinking, through “embodied cognition.” An extension of this idea is “unclothed cognition,” the impact of clothing on thinking and behavior, according to Rice University’s Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky of Northwestern University. Adam and Galinsky considered the symbolic meaning of clothing and wearer’s physical experience by evaluating […]

Air Time Matters: Speak Up in the First Five Minutes of a Meeting

More than thirty years ago, University of Florida’s Marvin Shaw observed that participation in small group approximates the 80/20 Principle: In a 5 member team, 2 members make 70% of comments In a  6 member team, 3 members make 70% of comments In a  8 member team, 3 members make 67% of comments Most of […]

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 […]

Perception of CEOs’ Non Verbal Leadership Behaviors Affect IPO Valuations, Predict Financial Performance

Favorable first impressions of CEOs can affect new companies’ valuations and can predict near-term performance. Perception of CEO non-verbal behavior during IPO road show presentations was associated with higher valuations at each IPO stage, found Stanford’s Elizabeth Blankespoor, Greg Miller of University of Michigan, and University of North Carolina’s Brad Hendricks. These findings underscore the importance of road […]