Yet More Unfairness in the World

YET MORE UNFAIRNESS IN THE WORLD….This is for my friend, Professor Marc:

Recently Mr. Hamermesh, a labor economist at the University of Texas at Austin who has long studied beauty and labor markets, wrote a paper with an undergraduate economics major, Amy Parker, that investigates the effect of beauty on a particular measure of performance: teaching evaluations for college professors.

….They asked six undergraduate students to rate the photographs of the professors on a 10-point scale and used the average measure as a beauty score. The student ratings on the beauty scale were highly correlated with one another, suggesting that they were measuring the same aspects of appearance.

According to the economists’ statistical analysis, good-looking professors got significantly higher teaching scores. The average teaching evaluation was 4.2 on a 5-point scale. Those at the bottom end of the attractiveness scale received, on average, a teaching evaluation of about 3.5, while those on the top end received about 4.5.

Perhaps universities should start adding bonus points to student evals for professors who don’t measure up on the hunk/babe scale.

UPDATE: Invisible Adjunct and her commenters have more to say about this.

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