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Physical attractiveness, age, and sex were manipulated to determine their effect on the evaluation of 54 (18 per job) hypothetical applicants' resumes for three different jobs (tax manager of an industrial firm, postmaster, and vice principal of a high school) by 60 MBA students (20 MBA student-raters per job), evenly divided between the two sexes and among three age levels, who voluntarily participated in the three experiments. As hypothesized, physical attractiveness favourably influenced (p < .01) the suitability ratings for all jobs; raters' sex was not significant but applicants' sex significantly (p < .03) affected ratings for the job of tax manager; and applicants' age as a main effect was significant (p < .05) for one job (vice principal) but the raters' age was not significant for any. A number of interactions, some of which were hypothesized, emerged as significant (p < .05), which indicated that age and sex biases operate in a subtle and complex fashion and are moderated by a number of social and personal attributes of the raters and the ratees.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1986

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