Gelbman Family Chair of International Business and Professor of Marketing Marc Fetscherin has published an article in the Journal of Social Psychology along with psychology professor Stacey Tantleff Dunn and international business major Arne Klumb ’18.
“Effects of Facial Features and Styling Elements on Perception of Competence, Warmth, and Hireability of Male Professionals” explores variables in facial features and appearance to see whether they affect how men are perceived in the workplace. The team reviewed 4,215 observations to determine perceptions of men sporting beards, acne, eyeglasses, or a tie. The study measured perceptions related to competence and warmth, as well as the overall perceived hireability of candidates with each unique feature.
Fetscherin, Dunn, and Klumb found that acne negatively affected perceptions of both competence and warmth. Conversely, eyeglasses translated to favorable impressions of both. Men who wore neckties scored high in perceptions of competence but low in warmth, and bearded individuals were also perceived as less warm than others. Overall, they found perceptions of competence to impact hireability more than perceptions of warmth.
Their findings suggest that these variables do have the power to impact first impressions, which in turn could make a difference when it comes to securing employment.