Portions of this paper were presented at the 1989 Academy of Management Meetings in Washington, D.C. This study was supported in part by funding from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the Office of Research at the University of Pittsburgh.
Attractiveness and Income for Men and Women in Management1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 21, Issue 13, pages 1039–1057, July 1991
How to Cite
Frieze, I. H., Olson, J. E. and Russell, J. (1991), Attractiveness and Income for Men and Women in Management. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21: 1039–1057. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1991.tb00458.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
It is commonly believed that attractive people are more successful, but the empirical support for this belief is mixed. A number of role-playing, laboratory studies have demonstrated that more attractive men are more often hired, but the laboratory data for women are less consistent. Few studies have explored the effects of attractiveness on actual hiring and starting salaries for men or women. Even less work has been done on the impact of attractiveness once on the job. It was predicted that there would be positive effects for attractiveness and that the effects would be stronger as people worked longer on their jobs. To test this prediction, a sample of 737 male and female MBA graduates from the years between 1973 and 1982 was used to explore how facial attractiveness relates to starting and later salaries. Results indicated that more attractive men had higher starting salaries and they continued to earn more over time. For women, there was no effect of attractiveness for starting salaries, but more attractive women earned more later on in their jobs. By 1983, men were found to earn $2600 more on the average for each unit of attractiveness (on a 5-point scale) and women earned $2150 more. Implications for research in this area are discussed.