Th-OR-S31-4 - Attractiveness As A Moderator For Trustworthiness And Employability

Discrimination and equality in the workplace
Oral Presentation
Part of:
15 minutes
Human resource management
Discrimination and equality in the workplace
Attractiveness as a Moderator for Trustworthiness and Employability
M.-H. Lin 1,*, S. Y. Ng 1
1Psychology, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia
Content: Purpose
Because employment decision is a complex cognitive process that involves high cognitive loads, people are susceptible to cognitive shortcuts, such as attractiveness heuristics that can affect selections. This study explores the impact of attractiveness levels on trustworthiness and employability.
82 Chinese Malaysians in an experimental study judged attractiveness, trustworthiness in regards to ability, benevolence and integrity, and employability of six different fictitious résumés for an office manager.
Moderated regressions tested if attractiveness moderated trustworthiness and employability. Attractiveness significantly moderated the relationship between overall trustworthiness and employability.
Simple slope analysis found those judged to be trustworthy as more employable were only true for attractive people. Separate analyses for trustworthiness components found attractiveness moderates trustworthiness in ability and employability as well as trustworthiness in benevolence and employability. Attractiveness did not moderate trustworthiness in integrity and employability.
Race-effect was not investigated in this study limiting generalization of the findings to other race groups in Malaysia.
Perception of trustworthiness affects employability and this is more so when one is attractive. This study indicates attractiveness still affects the perception of employability and should be a concern as it can lead to unjust employment that overlooks candidates’ career and personal achievements resulting in a less-accomplished workforce.
The rise of using online hiring tools (e.g., LinkedIn) has made viewing applicants’ photographs during hiring more prevalent rendering it more critical to attractiveness-based hiring.

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