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good looks matter even in high school

April 23, 2009

“…physical attractiveness was not the most important non-cognitive predictor of grades,” French said. “Instead grooming and personality were stronger predictors of academic success in high school for boys and girls, respectively.”

Looking at GPA as a function of a long list of individual, familial, school, and environmental characteristics that are likely to affect academic performance, the researchers were able to make several significant observations, including:

  • Physical attractiveness has a positive effect on GPA for both genders, but only when considered alone.
  • When physical attractiveness is considered along with grooming and personality, the positive effect of physical attractiveness on high school GPA turns negative for both genders.
  • For male students, grooming delivers the biggest overall effect on GPA.
  • For female students, personality is positively related to GPA.
  • Physical appearance can be a way for adolescents to either rebel or accept adult’s standards. However, whether the student is a “rebel” or a “conformist” does not have a significant independent effect on GPA.
  • The findings suggest that some degree of teacher bias is present in favor of, or against certain types of students.
  • All else equal, Hispanics and African Americans have lower GPAs than whites and girls have higher GPAs than males.
  • Students living with a mother who attended college, those that live in a two-parent household and those attending a small school have higher GPAs than those in different circumstances.
  • Receiving public assistance is negatively associated with GPA.

via Do Good Looks Get High School Students Good Grades?.

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