Physical Attractiveness Bias.

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Although it is a slightly upsetting truth to many, physical attractiveness doesn't only matter when it comes to choosing a partner, but also when it comes to a person's employment. My parents are both business people who have always stressed the importance of appearance when pursuing a job, so the concept of the physical attractiveness bias wasn't as a complete shock. Even though I had grown up with this idea, it was still surprising to see how much emphasis was placed of physical attractiveness.
Many studies have shown that there is a distinct attractiveness bias in many work settings which gives people who are more physically appealing a better chance at getting an interview and being hired when compared to their unattractive counterpart. The ideology behind this is that these attractive people are more intelligent, better in social settings, possess better self-control and more self-confident. In recent years the problem of judging an applicant largely based on appearance has started to diminish, but the bias is still an important factor. Although organizations are now looking more carefully at applicants qualifications, if it comes down to two applicants who are very comparable as far as qualification, the more attractive person will most likely be hired.

Here's an interesting article that talks about the different studies done on the topic of Physical Attractiveness Bias!


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As unfortunate as it is to be hired based on your looks, it makes sense. Wouldn't you be more willing to walk up to someone who looks attractive to ask them a question over some greasy haired shabby looking person? I know I wouldn't want to talk to someone in a clothing store or jewelry store who looks really scary.

We used to talk about this in discussion section! Maybe this argument actually would help the Pro IQ side in the debate...If we base our decision solely on IQ, then we won't consider physical attractiveness!

I personally don't think that the physical attractiveness is a big deal when it comes to pursuing a job or getting hired, because all it's matter is your knowledge. Let's say if you're good looking but you don't have good knowledge about your career, then you're not doing any good for the company.

I would agree that physical attractiveness plays a considerable role in hiring. I recently read an article on the freakonomics blog where Daniel Hamermesh argued that being unattractive is the one discriminatory class for which there are no legal protections. While this is an interesting sentiment, I think it is unrealistic because attractiveness is so much more subjective than the other classes. Nevertheless, I have seen this discrimination firsthand. For instance, have you ever seen an unattractive person working at Abercrombie & Fitch? I personally have not. I know someone who used to work for this company and she told me that a slightly overweight, acne-ridden boy inquired about employment, and the manager said they had no openings. Then, not ten minutes later the manager told them to walk around the mall to recruit workers based on looks.

I agree that physical attractiveness plays a big role when applying for a job. I have even heard it been said that physically attractive people tend to life less stressful and generally more enjoyable lives. I don't want to down-grade physical attractiveness in the work place, but I feel like it is a societal obsession rather than just work related. People that are viewed as more attractive may have a better change in the application area because they are happier people, this could cause them to have a better attitude when applying. It would seem unfair to not hire someone because they were physically attractive also.

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This page contains a single entry by miljk001 published on April 8, 2012 5:11 PM.

Beauty Across the World was the previous entry in this blog.

IQ: Is it the genes or the scenes? is the next entry in this blog.

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