The effect of a female candidate's name and perceived attractiveness on her ability to be chosen as a project partner: An examination of personal bias

by Richardson, Jennifer L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 78 pages; 3350048


The focal point of this study was to understand the relationship between a potential female project partner's name and her ability to be chosen as a partner as it related to the perceived level of attractiveness of the potential partner. There have been many studies done on the attractiveness stereotype and the impact that physical attractiveness has on the hiring process, but there has been very little research done in the area of perceived attractiveness and personal bias as associated with a particular name only. The forthcoming study revealed several significant findings. Within this study evidence surfaced that the ranking of a potential partner is dependent on the potential partner's name category (a = .000). In addition this study found that the ranking of a potential partner is also dependent on the participant's gender (a = .017). The findings of this study provide evidence that women whose names bring to mind mental images of attractiveness have an advantage in being selected over those whose names bring to mind mental images of unattractiveness, especially when the participant making the selection is male. In order to more effectively ensure that businesses are able to select the most qualified candidate for a position, it is important for organizations to understand the potential for discrimination based on any characteristic, even something as seemingly inadvertent as a candidate's name.

AdviserJames Mirabella
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology
Publication Number3350048

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