The effects of the researcher's physical attractiveness and gender on mail survey response
Version of Record online: 20 DEC 2007
© 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology & Marketing
Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 47–70, January 2008
How to Cite
Dommeyer, C. J. (2008), The effects of the researcher's physical attractiveness and gender on mail survey response. Psychol. Mark., 25: 47–70. doi: 10.1002/mar.20198
- Issue online: 20 DEC 2007
- Version of Record online: 20 DEC 2007
This study examines how using a photo in the cover letter of a mail survey affects mail survey response. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used that manipulated the physical attractiveness and gender of the supposed researcher that was depicted in the cover letter photo. In addition, a control group was used that received a cover letter without a photo. The results revealed the following: (1) a photo of the survey researcher does not enhance the response rate to the survey; (2) in the case of an attractive male researcher, a photo may dampen the response rate; and (3) within the factorial design, the only variable to have an effect on the survey's response rate was the gender variable: Photos depicting female researchers produced a higher response rate than photos depicting male researchers. This study also illustrated that a crude pretest of the survey procedures with students can, in some areas, produce fairly accurate predictions of the results of a field experiment. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.