Do personality and looks boost grades?
August 10th, 2009 @ 7:29am
By Mary Richards
SALT LAKE CITY -- Researchers say beauty may win out over brains, at least in high school. But some educators disagree.
Miami sociologists found that better-groomed guys and more personable girls got better grades. Attractiveness also boosted GPA. They call it the attractiveness effect. Their study, "Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Personality and Grooming on Academic Performance in High School", is published in the August issue of Labour Economics.
But Barbara Marsh, assistant professor of education at Westminster College, says she's never seen it happen.
"It just seems that with everything so driven by accountability now, it would be very difficult to do that, I would think," she said.
Marsh says Utah won't let teachers enter a grade for looks. She wonders if some could give higher marks in participation or extra credit, but says she never saw higher grades given for beauty during her four decades in public education.
"Both the students and the parents were very vocal when they thought something unfair was occurring, and that never once was brought to my attention," she said.
Marsh wonders if better-looking teens have higher self-esteem.
"When your self-esteem is high you tend to do well in everything, not just in school," she said.