Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Sinclair, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Raymark

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Britt

Committee Member

Dr. Mary Anne Taylor

Abstract

Employment interviews are ubiquitous in modern selection systems. Although interviews are extremely common, there is evidence that interview ratings are subject to rating errors and biases. For example, previous research has found that higher physical attractiveness of the candidate is linked to increased interview ratings. Physical attractiveness is largely considered to be a fixed characteristic that cannot be controlled, however this may not be entirely true as research has consistently linked women's use of facial cosmetics to increased ratings of physical attractiveness. An experimental three (no cosmetics, low cosmetics, high cosmetics) by three (low performance, intermediate performance, high performance) design was used to examine: a) what amount of facial cosmetics is most beneficial to interview ratings, b) the explanatory mediators of the cosmetics-interview ratings relationship, and c) the influence of interview performance on the cosmetics-interview ratings relationship. Participants included 452 individuals recruited using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Results indicated that there was not a direct relationship between facial cosmetics use and interview ratings, but facial cosmetics did indirectly affect interview ratings through the mediating variables of physical attractiveness and professional appearance. Ratings of professional appearance were highest in the low cosmetics condition, suggesting that the amount of makeup worn effects perceptions of professional appearance. Contrary to expectations, facial cosmetics did not affect perceived competence, perceived competence did not mediate the relationship between facial cosmetics and interview ratings, and interview performance did not moderate the relationship between facial cosmetics and interview ratings. Overall, the results of this dissertation provide some support for the common advice that it is important for women to wear makeup to job interviews.

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