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Abstract

Research in advertising suggests the positive effects of spokesperson attractiveness only enhance consumers' attitudes if the attractiveness of the spokesperson matches up with the image of the product (Kahle & Homer, 1985; Kamins, 1990; Parekh & Kanekar, 1994). This study examines the effects of service provider physical attractiveness and tests the application of the match-up hypothesis to the service encounter. Provider physical attractiveness (high, moderate, low) and service type (related or unrelated to attractiveness) were varied in a 3 × 2 factorial design. The experimental results suggest that when service-provider attractiveness is congruent with the image of the service, consumers' ratings of service quality and their attitudes toward the service provider will be maximized. The results are explained with the use of a schema-based information-processing paradigm. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.