The authors thank Cherie O'Boyle and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Portions of this article were presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Kona, Hawaii, April 28–May 1, 1994.
THE EFFECTS OF HAIR COLOR AND COSMETIC USE ON PERCEPTIONS OF A FEMALE'S ABILITY
Version of Record online: 28 JUL 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 447–455, September 1996
How to Cite
Kyle, D. J. and Mahler, H. I. M. (1996), THE EFFECTS OF HAIR COLOR AND COSMETIC USE ON PERCEPTIONS OF A FEMALE'S ABILITY. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20: 447–455. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1996.tb00311.x
- Issue online: 28 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 JUL 2006
- First draft received: April 18, 1995 Final draft accepted: January 22, 1996
This experiment examined whether a female applicant's hair color and use of cosmetics might affect perceptions of her ability for a professional position. One hundred thirty six college students reviewed the identical professional resume of a female applicant for the position of a staff accountant. Attached to the resume was a photograph of the stimulus female applicant either wearing or not wearing cosmetics and depicted with brunette, red, or blonde hair color. The results demonstrated significant main effects of both hair color and cosmetic use. Specifically, the applicant was rated more capable and was assigned a higher salary both when depicted with brunette hair color and when depicted without cosmetics. There were no interactions between hair color and cosmetic use. The findings demonstrate that biases regarding personal appearance may affect judgments about a female applicant's ability.