Perceptions of Applicants Who Deceive: Does Physical Attractiveness Matter?

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Perceptions of Applicants Who Deceive: Does Physical Attractiveness Matter?

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Impression management is a broad term that describes multiple tactics used by job applicants to influence how they are perceived by employers. These evaluations may also be affected by factors such as the applicant's physical attractiveness or hiring managers' personality characteristics. While past research has shown that engaging in impression management and possessing attractive facial features garner more positive evaluations, the two variables have not been explored together. To address this gap in the literature, our study utilized a betweensubjects design in which 129 participants evaluated three job applicants, using LinkedIn profiles, on their recommendation to be interviewed, along with their perceived competence and integrity. Results show that detected deceptions negatively impacted the deceptive individual in terms how they are perceived and whether they would be recommended for an interview; however, physical attractiveness of the applicant had no effect on decision-maker judgements. Furthermore, when deception occurred, decision-maker agreeableness negatively impacted interview decisions, competence, and integrity ratings of the deceptive job applicant.


A Plan B submitted to the faculty of the University of Minnesota by Jay Burditt in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, May 2022. This item has been modified from the original to redact the signature present.

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Burditt, Jay. (2022). Perceptions of Applicants Who Deceive: Does Physical Attractiveness Matter?. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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