A Make-over for Royalty: the Relationship of Physical Attractiveness and Perceptions of Leadership Ability
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
MCCLAFLIN, M. T. (1999). A Make-over for Royalty: the Relationship of Physical Attractiveness and Perceptions of Leadership Ability. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 2. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved June 29, 2017 .

A Make-over for Royalty: the Relationship of Physical Attractiveness and Perceptions of Leadership Ability
MAGGIE T. MCCLAFLIN
MWSC DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this research was to determine if perceived attractiveness negatively affects leadership evaluations of women. Research has shown a positive link between perceived attractiveness and many personality attributes such as intelligence, honesty, and kindness to name but a few. It would appear that what is beautiful is perceived as being better. This perception does not hold true in all cases,however. Recent research has suggested that attractiveness in women can have detrimental effects in terms of perceptions of leadership ability.This study examines this perception from an historical perspective.

INTRODUCTION
There has been a large amount of research on physical attractiveness and the importance it plays on the judgements we make of other persons. Handsome men are perceived as more masculine, and beautiful women as more feminine, than are less attractive individuals (Gillen, 1981); attractive defendants in a fictitious burglary case received lesser sentences than unattractive defendants(DeSantis & Kayson, 1997); unattractive children, described as having misbehaved, were more likely to be blamed for their action than attractive children described as participating in the same behavior (Dion, 1972). These findings support Dion, Berschied, and Walster (1972) in their conclusion that "what is beautiful is good." Despite differences in taste, there is actually a reasonable degree of agreement between people from different cultures as to which faces are attractive if one uses averaged responses (Langlois & Roggman, 1990). Although there can be wide variations between the views of any two individuals as to what is attractive, they actually vary around an underlying norm which is consistent across cultures. Although much of the research has focused on the positive attributes of individuals viewed as attractive, there have been some detrimental aspects observed with females and perceptions of leadership (Butler & Geis, 1990). Even today, women in positions of leadership are viewed as going against prevailing gender stereotypes. A study conducted by Sigelman et al (1986) found attractiveness a plus for males running for political office, but not for female candidates. Women were not discriminated against for being pretty, but they were not helped by attractiveness as were the men. 1986) The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of attractiveness to perceived leadership abilities between men and women.


METHOD

PARTICIPANTS
Students enrolled in psychology courses at a medium-sized public college in Northwest Missouri. No effort to make random or control the age, race, or gender will be employed.

MATERIALS
Biographical sketches of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I were used. Traditional pictures of both Elizabeth and James and computer re-touched pictures were shown. The computer re-touched version of Elizabeth reflects modern cosmetics, and the re-touched version of James provided more symmetry in facial features. An opinion survey with a Likert-type scale to measure responses of leadership perceptions of the monarchs was also used.

PROCEDURE
The participants were assigned to one of three groups. Group I were read the biographical sketches of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, while viewing the traditional picture of the monarchs. They then completed the opinion survey. Group II were read the biographical sketches of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, while viewing the computer re-touched pictures. They then completed the opinion survey. Group III were read the biographies only, with no pictures of the Queen and King, they then completed the opinion survey.


RESULTS
A 3 x 2 mixed design ANOVA was used to examine the effects of attractiveness and sex of individuals on perception of leadership ability. James had significantly higher rated leadership abilities than Elizabeth, with a main effect for sex of leader and perceived leadership ability F(1, 53) = 12.5677, p = .001. Overall, Elizabeth was viewed as possessing less leadership ability than James. The main effect for viewing a picture did not have significance for sex of leader and perceived leadership ability F(2, 53) = .320, p = .728. Furthermore, the interaction between the picture and sex of leader on perceived leadership abilities was not significant F(2, 53) = .429, p = .653. Perceived leadership abilities were rated lowest for the enhanced pictures and highest for the traditional pictures. The effect of the pictures was the same for both James and Elizabeth.A significant main effect was found in the perception of sensitivity to their people and the sex of a leader F(2, 53) = 4.010, p = .024. James had a significantly higher rated sensitivity perception than Elizabeth F(1, 53) = 29.786, p = .000. No significance was found for interaction of a picture for sex of leader on perceived sensitivity F (2, 53) = .442, p = .645.


DISCUSSION
The original hypothesis was not supported by the data. There was no indication that perception of leadership ability was effected by the sex of the leader and physical attractiveness.Although there was a significant effect for sex on both perceived leadership ability and sensitivity to their governed people, this was probably due to the difference in biographical sketches rather than actual gender bias. Future research should include a design to explore this possibility.The effect of the pictures on perception of leadership was interesting in that the traditional pictures were viewed higher in perceived leadership ability than the more attractive computer enhanced pictures. This is not consistent with much of the literature on attractiveness, which would support the opposite view. It is consistent with the findings of Sigelman et al (1986) with respect to attractiveness not being an asset for female candidates. Participants might have judged the traditional pictures higher in leadership ability due to the familiarity of the historical persons.Replication of this study should include identical biographical information except for sex and more closely matched re-touched pictures, to more evenly reflect the degree of attractiveness change.


REFERENCES
Bruce, V., & Young, A. (1998). In The Eye of the Beholder: The Science of Face Perception. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Butler, D. & Geis, F.L. (1990). Nonverbal affect responses to male and female leaders: Implications for leadership evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 48-59.Dion, K.L., & Dion, K.K. (1987). Belief in a just world and physical attractiveness stereotyping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 775-780.Gillen, B. (1981). Physical attractiveness: A determinant of two types of goodness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 7, 277-281.Langlois, J.H., & Roggman, L.A. (1990). Attractive faces are only average. Psychological Science, 1, 115-121.Sigelman, C.K., Thomas, D.B., Sigelman, L., & Ribich, F.D. (1986). Gender, physical attractiveness, and electability: An experimental investigation of voter biases. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 16, 229-248.Sigelman, L., & Sigelman, C.K. (1982). Sexism, racism, and ageism in voting behavior: An experimental analysis. Social Psychology Quarterly, 45, 263-269.


APPENDIX A
Please respond to the following questions about Elizabeth I by circling a number corresponding to your opinion.

1. Elizabeth was an effective leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

2. Elizabeth was a decisive leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

3. Elizabeth was a capable leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

4. Elizabeth was an intelligent leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

5. Elizabeth was unfeeling toward her people.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

6. Which picture of Elizabeth I do you find more attractive? (check one) A _______ B _______

Please respond to the following questions about James I by circling a number corresponding to your opinion.

7. James was an effective leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

8. James was a decisive leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

9. James was a capable leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

10. James was an intelligent leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

11. James was unfeeling toward his people.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

12. Which picture of James I do you find more attractive? (check one) A _______ B _______

Your age _____ Sex ______ Major ______________________________________________


APPENDIX B
Please respond to the following questions about Elizabeth I by circling a number corresponding to your opinion.

1. Elizabeth was an effective leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

2. Elizabeth was a decisive leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

3. Elizabeth was a capable leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

4. Elizabeth was an intelligent leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

5. Elizabeth was unfeeling toward her people.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

Please respond to the following questions about James I by circling a number corresponding to your opinion.

6. James was an effective leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

7. James was a decisive leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

8. James was a capable leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

9. James was an intelligent leader.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

10. James was unfeeling toward his people.

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6

Your age _____ Sex ______ Major _____________________________________


Figure 1


Figure 2


figure 3


figure 4


APPENDIX C

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth was born in 1533. Her father was the legendary King Henry VIII, and her mother was Ann Boleyn. Elizabeth, who was two years old at the time of her mother`s death, was raised by four stepmothers. Elizabeth was an intelligent child who studied Greed and Roman classics, read history and theology, and learned both classical and modern languages.When Elizabeth ascended to the throne, it was at the death of her half-sister, Mary, who had kept Elizabeth imprisoned in the Tower of London for the last five years. This arrest had been due to the religious divisions in the country. Queen Mary was Catholic and Elizabeth was a Protestant.When Elizabeth became queen, she didn`t want to face the heated conflict between Catholics and Protestants, but her Catholic cousin, Queen Mary of Scotland, forced her hand. To protect her crown, Elizabeth had her cousin arrested and subsequently beheaded. It was during this time that plots against Elizabeth prompted her to harshly persecute Catholics in England. She sent hundreds to their deaths.Constantly besieged by Spanish attempts to dominate England, Elizabeth resorted to every subterfuge and trick available to her in her duel with Spain. Using her sex as a diplomatic weapon, she carried on long flirtations with the brothers of the French king, thereby helping to prevent an alliance between France and Spain. She also secretly encouraged her sea captains to pirate Spanish shipping and attack Spanish settlements.Elizabeth believed it was her divine mission to lead England, and under her direction, the country became strong and unified


APPENDIX D
James I

James Charles Stewart was born in 1566 in Scotland. His father, Lord Darnley, was murdered in 1567, before James` first birthday. James` mother, Mary, was imprisoned in England by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, and subsequently executed for her part in a conspiracy to assassinate the queen. James never knew his mother.A very intelligent child, James spoke fluent Greek, Latin, French, English and Scots, and was schooled in Italian and Spanish. Because of his linguistic capabilities, King James typically did not need a translator when conducting business with other heads of state. The king was a gifted writer and wrote a book about the divine right of kings and a monarch`s duty to reign in Basilion Doron. King James` great aspiration to be the first king of both Scotland and England, was realized in 1603, upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. As a Scotsman ruling over the English, James endured much racism and slander. The Catholic religion was an enemy of King James, who was a devout Protestant. The Catholics attempted to assassinate James on several occasions. Most notably in 1605 when Roman Catholic, Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up Parliament while the king was present. The conspiracy was discovered and all co-conspirators were executed.James played a masterly political game and kept his kingdom out of wars. For the first time a Scottish monarch wielded effective authority over the more far-flung areas of the realm. He supported literature, both through his own writings, and his patronage. James commissioned the translation of the Bible, which became known as the King James Version. There was peace during his reign - both with his subjects and with foreign powers.

Submitted 4/29/99 12:36:45 PM
Last Edited 5/4/99 2:39:31 PM
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