Student inferences based on facial appearance

Jeanette Morehouse Mendez, Jesse Perez Mendez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study extends the scope of research that examines the connection between physical attractiveness and student perception through a survey analysis. While other studies concentrate on physical attractiveness alone, we examined not only perceptions of attractiveness but its impact on students’ perception of knowledge, approachability and faculty selection in a hypothetical course. Using ordered logistic regression, logistic regression and ordinary least squares regression to examine the interaction between age, attractiveness, knowledge and approachability, our findings show that younger faculty members are perceived as more approachable and more attractive, while older faculty members are perceived as more knowledgeable. Faculty perceived as more attractive are also perceived to be more approachable. Further, we test the impact that these results have on faculty selection in a hypothetical course and find that students are more likely to select an attractive and approachable faculty member to take a course with, regardless of perceived knowledge of the faculty member. Overall, although the perception of beauty may be cursory, its results may not be when considering the primacy effect, role model effect and teaching effectiveness assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalHigher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Bias
  • Classroom
  • Evaluation
  • Faculty
  • Perception
  • Students


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