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The Effect of Physical Attractiveness on Teacher Expectations

Margaret M. Clifford and Elaine Walster
Sociology of Education
Vol. 46, No. 2 (Spring, 1973), pp. 248-258
DOI: 10.2307/2112099
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112099
Page Count: 11
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The Effect of Physical Attractiveness on Teacher Expectations
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Abstract

Rosenthal and Jacobson found that a teacher's expectations about a child's behavior strongly influence his actual behavior. Generally, teachers form their first impressions of children, and thus develop their expectations for them, from two sources of information--the children's school record and their physical appearance. In this experiment, teachers were given objective information, presumably about a child's scholastic and social potential, accompanied by a photograph of an attractive or an unattractive boy or girl. It was found that the child's attractiveness was significantly associated with the teacher's expectations about how intelligent the child was, how interested in education his parents were, how far he was likely to progress in school, and how popular he would be with his peers.

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