Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Weston, Rebecca

Abstract

Attractiveness can provide an individual with advantages that less attractive people may not be granted. These advantages can be seen in everyday life through the perception that attractive individuals are more intelligent, friendly, and employees. Many researchers have found that attractiveness can have an influence on who gets the job and who does not. Past research on the influence of attractiveness on hiring practices has been conducted from an explicit attitude perspective. Explicit attitudes are evaluations that are thought out and conform to social norms, while implicit attitudes are unconscious evaluations before the influence of social norm. Implicit and explicit attitudes are considered two different constructs and accessed for different reasons. It was hypothesized that hiring agents would consider attractive applicants better suited when using an implicit attitude. Additionally there would be differences between male and female hiring agents. Results indicate that hiring agents associated attractive applicants with good job attributes when using an implicit attitude. However, there was no difference between male and female hiring agents, as both associated attractive applicants with good job attributes equally. The results also demonstrated that not all implicit and explicit attitudes diverge as previous research has indicated. The study also found a number of applicant attributes that contribute to the influence of whether to interview and hire attractive and unattractive applicants.

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