Title page for ETD etd-04142008-160957

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Van Gass, Mari Sanet
Email marivg@tuks.co.za
URN etd-04142008-160957
Document Title The effect of facial attractiveness, CV quality, race and gender on personnel recruitment decisions
Degree MA (Research Psychology)
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof P Chiroro Supervisor
  • CV quality
  • gender
  • race
  • recruitment
  • decisions
  • attractiveness
Date 2007-09-05
Availability restricted

Previous research has found that attractiveness significantly influences recruitment decisions and that attractive job applicants are treated more favourably than less attractive ones. The current study investigated such biases among a sample of South African students. Unlike most studies conducted in this area, this study also investigated the influence of CV quality, race and gender and the extent to which these variables interact with facial attractiveness to influence recruitment decisions.

Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment was a rating experiment. The respondents were given 10 photographs of black and white females and were asked to rate the facial attractiveness and perceived personality characteristics of these women. The results showed that attractiveness ratings correlated positively with ratings of intelligence, likeability, and competence. During the second experiment, a completely randomised factorial design was used. Respondents were randomly exposed to one of 8 CV-photo combinations. The applicants varied in terms of race, attractiveness and CV quality. The results showed that attractive applicants were more likely to be invited for an interview and were also expected to perform better at their jobs than unattractive applicants. It was also found that male respondents in particular were more likely to interview attractive applicants than unattractive applicants. Another interesting finding was that black male respondents were more likely to interview unattractive applicants as well as applicants with bad CVs, than white male respondents.

University of Pretoria, 2007

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