Thesis Title

Contemplating a Different Beauty: Perceptions of Attractiveness and Impression Management in Performance Evaluations

Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Michelle Visio


Three studies were conducted to investigate the relationship between physical attractiveness and impression management behaviors and to determine what, if any, effect these qualities have on performance evaluations. Previous research on the effects of physical attractiveness ahs shown that a person’s exterior can enhance or diminish perceived evaluations of their performance. However, impression management research has not been as clear. Lack of replication for impression management’s effects is replete in the literature. Three-hundred and ninety-seven participants were each randomly assigned to one of 16 treatment conditions. Participants read one scenario, one male or one female, either self-promotion, ingratiation, or no impression management, and no information, low, average, or high physical attractiveness. Participants were then asked to rate employee performance on six dimensions via a 5-point forced-choice rating scale. Participants also rated perceived genuineness, competence, likeability, friendliness, and respect via a 5-point Likert-type rating scale. A 4 X 3 between subjects multivariate analysis of variance revealed statistically significant differences between ratings for different levels of physical attractiveness and impression management on several dependent variables. Implications are that performance ratings are often based on information that has no apparent relation to actual performance on the job.


impression management, physical attractiveness, performance assessment, performance evaluation, ingratiation, self-promotion

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© Matisha D. Montgomery