I'm attractive and I know it: Do good looks mean a good job?
Most people could nod their heads and agree with me- that the more attractive someone is considered the more successful they would be at work. Everyone wants to be around more attractive people than not-naturally. Who would you want to sit next to in class? Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder however, so defining standards on good looking is a little blurry.
A wealth of research has shown that indeed the physically attractive enjoy advantages over the less attractive in matters of personnel selection and performance assessment (Nykodym & Simonetti 1987). These advantages were seen mostly in blue collar or service positions. Some women may find this to be a disadvantage when trying to get hired for male sex typed positions. Also, every culture has a different understanding of what is considered to be attractive. For the most part, symmetrical bodies are considered to be attractive or good looking universally across all cultures. With that in mind, take a look at a small experiment I recently conducted and let's see where our opinion stands.
Good looks and Good tips - My Experiment
I wanted to find out if the attractiveness had any influence on the amount of tips a server gets at a local 24 hour restaurant. I wanted to get a look into the effects of attractiveness inside an organization, rather than the effects on consumers themselves.An "attractiveness battery" was created to properly asses an attractiveness level in order to compare it to their weekly total tips. The higher the employee scores on the attractiveness battery, the higher their weekly total would be- This is my guess!
There were 15 diverse employees in my study- men and women, ages from 19 to 50, and many different cultural and racial backgrounds.
Attractiveness Battery Example
Level Of Attractiveness
All of the employees were interviewed to find out what they thought. Did they think they made enough money per hour? How about weekly? They were also asked questions about customers and tasks. An attractiveness battery based on five components of what was considered to be attractive(body structure,facial structure,hair,height, and personality) was developed and administered during the interview. Each component was on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) for a total of 25 points possible.
So does that REALLY mean- Killer looks equals Killer pay?
Nope. Not at all. In my small study in the service industry, good looks did not attribute to making more tips, or being more successful.
An examination of the level of attractiveness and tips per week revealed a very weak and questionable correlation between attractiveness and tip earnings per week. An analysis using a Pearson's correlation coefficient supported this observation, r(15) = .012,p < .05.
Based on my results, I was clearly wrong- at least in the case of the blue collar waiter. The higher the employee was rated on the assessment had little effect with what they reported in weekly. In some cases the less attractive that the employees were rated, the more they actually made. There were many issues with this some what warped way of thinking.Rating scales, such as this one are always a controversial middle case. The numbers in rating scales have meaning, but that meaning isn't very precise.Rater bias, what one person considers attractive may not be what another person considers attractive. Participants also were not randomly selected, they were selected from the place I work. Many things such as Experience, customer service or down-right being good at your job also play an important factor at how many tips were made.
Today Show: Will good looks help you land a job?
More information on Jessica Bennett's article from the Today Show
- The Beauty Advantage: How Looks Affect Your Work, Your Career, Your Life - The Daily Beast
In 2010, when Heidi Montag’s bloated lips plaster every magazine in town, when little girls lust after an airbrushed, unattainable body ideal, there’s a growing bundle of research to show that our bias against the unattractive is more pervasive than
Attractiveness and Success at Work
Would you likely Hire someone based upon looks?
What do YOU think? Do good looks or attractiveness ultimately lead to better paying jobs and more rewards? Share your opinion in the comment section below.