The impact of different forms of sexiness on perceptions of employees and organizations
The way in which a person is dressed is often one of the first things others easily notice. Researchers have consistently found that appearances are capable of influencing a number of different opinions and decisions, especially those formed in the workplace. Recently, Glick, Larsen, Johnson, and Branstiter (2005) decided to examine how a sexy appearance influenced perceptions of business women. Clothing that emphasized the sexuality of the target resulted in more overall negative judgments by participants, including viewing her as less competent and less intelligent. These results are in direct opposition to the many positive effects that have been found for attractiveness in previous research. It is possible that the overall informal look of the sexy manipulation used by Glick et al. (2005) may have implied low levels of conscientiousness, therefore contributing to the negative impressions of the target formed by participants. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether a more "sophisticated" or composed sexy appearance would lead to a different effect on perceptions of business women than the "unsophisticated" or informal sexy appearance used previously. Results suggest several alternative explanations for the findings by Glick and his colleagues. As predicted, the type of sexy appearance mattered across several different dependent measures. In most cases a sophisticated sexy appearance was perceived more favorably than unsophisticated sexy one.