Diverging from the dominant positive view of physical attractiveness, I propose that attractive individuals at times experience negative outcomes at work. Research substantiates that judgments of competence and warmth combine to affect perceivers' emotional and behavioral reactions to target individuals. Attractive individuals are perceived as highly competent, but not necessarily highly warm. Perceived warmth moderates the effects of competence on emotional and behavioral responses to targets. Thus, although attractive individuals may elicit positive responses (e.g., admiration, altruistic helping) if perceived as highly warm, they may elicit negative responses (e.g., envy, workplace aggression) if perceived as lacking warmth. I used a laboratory experiment and a field study to test the theoretical model. Given some aspects of the study design and data, it is hard to be conclusive regarding the study findings. However, the laboratory study found support for the positive relationship between physical attractiveness and perceived competence, and some support for a negative relationship between physical attractiveness and job behaviors when the perceived warmth was low.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2015. Major: Business Administration. Advisors: Michelle Duffy, Lisa Leslie. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 116 pages.
Mehng, Si Ahn.
When is physical attractiveness not beneficial? Perceptions of warmth and competence, emotions, and job behaviors..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.