Friday, January 1, 2016

A Possible Failure of the Anita Loos Effect

Years ago, author and screenwriter Anita Loos wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was made into a Marilyn Monroe movie years ago. This effect was later used to  explain why blondes disproportionately appear on magazine covers and on Fox News; and the fear of which may be a contributing factor to some of the anti-blonde sentiment.

Anyway, D. I. Kyle asked 136 college students to rate a job application resumé featuring a picture of a 40-year old blonde woman applying for an accounting position. Some of the applications featured the woman with her natural hair coloring, while others had her hair tinted brunette or red-headed.

In general, subjects who were given pictures of the woman as a brunette tended to rate her as more competent and be inclined to offer a larger salary than if her photograph depicted her as a blonde or redhead. I guess college students playing potential employment assessors tend not to live up to the Anita Loos Effect.

Kyle also found that the woman in the picture tended to be rated higher if she was not wearing make-up. Apparently, this was interpreted as a sign of more seriousness or competence.

Several things I'm considering:

1.   Which cues the women participating as raters used in rating the person; and whether they showed a different pattern from the men? This might impact hiring practices, particularly if women predict employment success better than men.

2.  Would this result be replicated using a younger woman as the possible test stimulus?

3.  Should I tint my hair a chestnut color?









11 comments:

John Hill said...

Maybe a photo shopped pic with the chestnut hair with the resume to get the interview and then the real natural colored you shows up for the interview and impresses with your competent & confident self and natural beauty...
...or you can just send me your pic and resume and I'll give you my unbiased, old man and semi-curmudgeonly opinion.

John Hill said...

Oh and Happy New Year!

Mike said...

Maybe the book title should have been 'Type A aggressive males prefer heavily made upped blondes as arm candy'.

TexWisGirl said...

as a brunette (turning gray) who gave up make-up many years ago, i could say i'm rated on serious ability and a good smile. :)

Blue Grumpster said...

Give your hair a chestnut color if that color looks good on you ;)

Just stopping by to say....
Happy New Year!
May it make you cheer!

Now, excuse me while I go and tick the boxes showing milkshakes or water.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Chestnut or blonde, you still would be stunning.

Cherdo said...

You can't improve on perfection - be real!

Happy New Year and God bless, beautiful lady!

Cloudia said...

Happy 2016 Angel!
I'm partial to neon blue.........

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thank you, friends, for your reassurance and encouragement. Bless you!

Bilbo said...

The hair color doesn't matter, it's the personality underneath ... said the 64 year-old with gray hair.

Gorilla Bananas said...

So you're blond, Ms Pop Tart! I should have read your profile information more carefully. Are you dirty blond or blond blond? Whichever is true, there is no need to dye your hair.