Masters Thesis

The Effects of the "what Is Beautiful Is Good" Phenomenon and Counterproductive Employees in the Workplace.

The purpose of the present study was to explore the relationship between perceived physical attractiveness and counterproductive workplace behavior. The main hypothesis was that the more physically attractive an employee rated himself/herself to be, the more likely he/she would be to engage in counterproductive behavior in the workplace. One hundred and sixty-seven participants were recruited for the present study; some from various undergraduate classes at California State University, Fullerton and others from the workplaces of these students who took part in the study. Close to half of the study’s participants (n = 88) were categorized as the “Worker” while the other half (n = 79) were labeled the “Coworkers” of the students in the Worker sample. Two measures of workplace deviance and one measure of attraction were used to survey the participants. Based on the participants’ self-reports (Counterproductive Behavior Index, Goodstein & Lanyon, 2002; Workplace Deviance Scale, Bennett & Robinson, 2000; and the Interpersonal Attraction Scale, McCroskey & McCain, 1974), no relationship between counterproductive workplace behavior and attraction was found in the Worker population even when age and work tenure were assessed. However, the Coworker ratings of the Worker population suggested otherwise. A positive relationship was found for physical attraction and counterproductive workplace behavior. Higher attractive ratings by Coworkers, correlated with higher ratings of counterproductive behavior of Workers in their workplace. Overall findings suggested a halo effect found in the Coworker ratings of their peers; Coworkers rated their peers much lower in all measures of deviance. Further investigation is warranted to assess this effect in the workplace.

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