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Do some beautiful people looking easy to find work? Research: Beautiful people looking for such work will be discriminated against.

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Do some beautiful people looking easy to find work? Research: Beautiful people looking for such work will be discriminated against

Being perceived as attractive isn't usually considered much of an impediment in today's world. Oh, sure, there's the endless compliments and fawning adoration, but really, why complain?

Researchers have found one area that being pretty makes life a challenge – securing yourself a boring, low paying job. While we might scoff, discrimination is discrimination, and beautiful people can also find themselves signing up for entry level jobs at some point in their lives. For the most part good looks is a blessing. We treat pretty people more favorably in general, often vote for them more in elections, and pay them more in their professions.

However, this is not absolute. London business school researcher Margaret Lee said: "Our research suggests that attractive people may be discriminated against in selection for relatively less desirable jobs." "This stands in contrast to a large body of research that concluded that attractiveness, by and large, helps candidates in the selection process."

Researchers carried out four experiments involving more than 750 participants, including university students and managers who make hiring decisions in the real world. Participants were shown profiles of two potential job candidates that included photos, one attractive and one unattractive. Participants were then asked a series of questions designed to measure their perceptions of the job candidates and whether they would hire these candidates for a less-than-desirable job. The less desirable jobs included a warehouse worker, housekeeper, customer service representative and the more desirable jobs included things like a manager, project director, IT internship.

In all experiments where they were asked, participants were significantly less likely to hire the attractive candidate for the less desirable job and more likely to hire the attractive candidate for the more desirable job. Ms Lee said: "In the selection decision for an undesirable job, decision makers were more likely to choose the unattractive individual over the attractive individual. We found this effect to occur even with hiring managers."

Co-author Dr Madan Pillutla said: "It is interesting decision makers take into consideration others' assumed aspirations in their decisions." "Because participants thought that attractive individuals would want better outcomes, and therefore participants predicted that attractive individuals would be less satisfied, they reversed their discrimination pattern and favored unattractive candidates when selecting for a less desirable job."

The research suggests the established view that attractive candidates are favored when applying for jobs might be limited to high-level jobs that were the predominant focus of past research.   

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