How beauty works : theoretical mechanisms and two empirical applications on students' evaluation of teaching

Wolbring, Tobias ; Riordan, Patrick

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: Social Science Research
Volume: 57
Page range: 253-272
Place of publication: Amsterdam ; Orlando, FL
Publishing house: Elsevier ; Academic Press
ISSN: 0049-089X , 1096-0317
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department A
School of Social Sciences > Soziologie, insbes. Längsschnittdatenanalyse (Juniorprofessur) (Wolbring 2015-2017)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Plenty of studies show that the physical appearance of a person affects a variety of outcomes in everyday life. However, due to an incomplete theoretical explication and empirical problems in disentangling different beauty effects, it is unclear which mechanisms are at work. To clarify how beauty works we present explanations from evolutionary theory and expectation states theory and show where both perspectives differ and where interlinkage appears promising. Using students' evaluations of teaching we find observational and experimental evidence for the different causal pathways of physical attractiveness. First, independent raters strongly agree over the physical attractiveness of a person. Second, attractive instructors receive better student ratings. Third, students attend classes of attractive instructors more frequently – even after controlling for teaching quality. Fourth, we find no evidence that attractiveness effects become stronger if rater and ratee are of the opposite sex. Finally, the beauty premium turns into a penalty if an attractive instructor falls short of students' expectations.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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