Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2015, 5-19

Original scientific paper

Job Desirability of Male and Female Candidates – Are Physically More Attractive also More Preferred?

Laura Grdović -
Matilda Nikolić - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Ljiljana Gregov - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 5-19).pdf

The aim of this study was to determine whether physical attractiveness influences the assessment of candidates’ job desirability, taking into consideration the candidate’s gender, type of work, in terms of (un)importance of physical attractiveness for success on the job, and gender of those who evaluate potential candidates. The study involved a sample of 135 subjects from the graduate and student population, of whom 84 were women and 51 men, aged 18-27. Prior to conducting the main part of the study, preliminary testing was carried out with the goal of selecting male and female candidates of different level of attractiveness and two gender neutral jobs (one whose successful performance depends on physical appearance – television presenter, and one that does not – math teacher). Results show that the relationship between attractiveness and job desirability of candidates should be viewed in the context of type of job and gender of candidates. The selection of male candidates for the job of math teacher is not determined by physical appearance, but physical appearance was important for the selection of female candidates. It was found that the most desirable are unattractive candidates. For positions in which success depends on attractiveness, with an increase in attractiveness, the probability of selecting a candidate (male and female) also grows. Furthermore, for the job of math teacher, male candidates were preferred in relation to female, regardless of their level of attractiveness. For the selection of television presenters, attractiveness was a crucial factor. Men and women agree on estimates of unattractive male and female candidates, but their estimates vary when it comes to the average and attractive candidates. Difference is such that women more positively assess male candidates and men the opposite.

job desirability, physical attractiveness, gender of candidates, selection

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