Thursday, October 16, 2003
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The substance of academic style
Here's a link to the actual Hamermesh and Parker paper.
A few serious and not-so-serious thoughts on this:
Wait a minute -- an N of 6 on judging looks?!! On matters as subjective as attracyiveness, I'm going to want to see a larger number of raters -- get these style mavens on the task, stat!!
Should professors care about this? Damn straight. Teaching is all about capturing the attention of the student. Every little bit helps. [So, you're advocating that professors should dress like this to keep the students focused?--ed. Obviously, that would be distracting. However, a proper sense of style can attract attention without it morphing into something inappropriate.]
One possible explanation could be that people who are more physically attractive develop different personality traits than those who are not blessed with "good looks". So the students may not in fact be evaluating professors in such a shallow manner, but rather on how the professors' "looks" have contributed to their personalities.posted by: Buda on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
Nice to see my academic career is over before it starts ;-)
Seriously, I get good student evals. Just imagine how great they'd be if I dropped 50 pounds...posted by: Chris Lawrence on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
If you see Dogma, you'll learn that Selma looks mighty fine in glasses.posted by: Ted Barlow` on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
Reminds me of the study that showed that beautiful people were more likely to have sex and people interested in having sex with them. Duh! I don't need no stinkin' study to tell me that.
My student evaluations also tended to show that students like teachers to spoon-feed them the exact wording they will need to put on the test in order to get an A.posted by: Norman on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
How is this any surprise? I mean, it's well established that on average more attractive people are rated higher in terms of job performance as it is, so why shouldn't this be true in academics as well?posted by: Andrew on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
Average Easiness: 1.2
Heh.posted by: George on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
allow me to pile on. The result has been known for years, beutiful people are seen more favourably and have an easier life (in general).
More interesting IMO: Pennebaker, Gyer, Caulkins, Litowitz,Ackreman, Anderson, Mc Graw (1979) Don't the girls get prettier at closing time?
Answer: yes, which probably explains the number of contributing authors.posted by: markus on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
I always assumed my lowish student evals were more of a function of my harsh grading, sarcastic sense of humor, and being a prick. So it was really a commentary on my appearance? That hurts.posted by: James Joyner on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
allow me to reassure you James::
So don't worry James, students will notice you're a prick, no matter how good or bad your looks.posted by: markus on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
perhaps schools can advertise that they have attractive teachers for recruting purposes now. if i had lots of attractive teachers here at chicago i know id probably at least have better attandence.posted by: carl on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
You got nothin to worry about HotStuff. I've seen your picture on the Poli Sci website.posted by: To Drezner on 10.16.03 at 12:21 PM [permalink]
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