Achieving at university and beyond : does it help to be good looking?

Zubcevic, Nives, Mavondo, Felix, & Luxton, Sandra (2012) Achieving at university and beyond : does it help to be good looking? Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 24(5), pp. 785-804.

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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between attitudes to academic achievement and post university success using perceptions of attractiveness, gender, ethnic identity, personality, and social acceptance as antecedents.

Design/methodology/approach – An online questionnaire was completed by male (N=116) and female (N=126) university students from various cultural backgrounds. To evaluate the proposed relationships, multiple regression analysis was used.

Findings – The findings suggest that attractiveness is related to attitudes to academic achievement and success through its association with social appeal and acceptance. Ethnic identity is also related to both academic achievement and post university success. Personality is not positively related to academic achievement. Finally, social acceptance is positively related to academic achievement for males and to success for females.

Research limitations/implications – Whilst the survey targeted students from various cultural backgrounds studying in Australia, it did not look at university students from other countries. A cross-cultural perspective could reveal further differences in attitudes.

Originality/value – This study links attractiveness and academic achievement theories. The findings have implications for tertiary institutions and suggest academics and policy-makers to vigorously promote core personality and values such as intelligence, communication skills, and sincerity, rather than allow superficial values such as attractiveness to be placed at the centre stage of students' endeavour.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 58449
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Physical attractiveness, Academic achievement, Success, Personality, Ethnic identity, Ethnic groups, Social acceptance, Gender, Universities
DOI: 10.1108/13555851211278259
ISSN: 1355-5855
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2013 23:53
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:02

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