Physical attractiveness, age, and sex as determinants of reactions to resumes

Mohammed Y. Quereshi1, Janet Kay1
1Marquette University, United States
Cite this article:  Quereshi, M. Y., & Kay, J. (1986). Physical attractiveness, age, and sex as determinants of reactions to resumes. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 14(1), 103-112.

Volume 14 Issue 1 | e481 | Published: February 1986 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1986.14.1.103

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Physical attractiveness, age, and sex were manipulated to determine their effect on the evaluation of 54 (18 per job) hypothetical applicants' resumes for 3 different jobs (tax manager of an industrial firm, postmaster, and vice principal of a high school) by 60 MBA students (20 MBA student-raters per job), evenly divided between the 2 sexes and among 3 age levels, who voluntarily participated in the 3 experiments. As hypothesized, physical attractiveness favorably influenced (p < .01) the suitability ratings for all jobs; raters’ sex was not significant but applicants’ sex significantly (p < .03) affected ratings for the job of tax manager; and applicants’ age as a main effect was significant (p < .05) for 1 job (vice principal) but the raters’ age was not significant for any. A number of interactions, some of which were hypothesized, emerged as significant (p < .05), which indicated that age and sex biases operate in a subtle and complex fashion and are moderated by a number of social and personal attributes of the raters and the ratees.


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