Tuesday, August 30, 2016

So are those trips to the MAC counter tax-deductible now?

Once again, it pays to be pretty [1].

​Not only do more-attractive teachers get better evals, it seems their students pay closer attention and learn more:

Participants listened to an audio lecture while viewing a photograph of instructor. The photograph depicted either a physically attractive instructor or a less attractive instructor. Following the lecture, participants completed a forced choice recognition task covering material from the lecture. Consistent with the predictions; attractive instructors were associated with more learning.

Can't wait to see what this is this going to do to our professional-development curriculum. 

[1] and male; an "unexpected" finding of the study was that the male instructors received better ratings than the female instructors, although the students' performance on the recall test did not differ by instructor gender. 


  1. One of several reasons I don't really mind teaching online.

    Though I have wondered whether I should demand the right to teach as a male online, so as to reap the likely rewards for both myself and my students. That might get complicated come paper-conference time, however.

    I could probably get away with being Charles for the first 10 weeks or so, though, and by then impressions might be fixed. It certainly works the other way: because I'm not familiar with the gender associations of names in many of my students' cultures of origin (and because not all cultures *have* fixed name/gender associations), I don't always know the gender of my online students until I meet them, in person or on skype (and a few of them I never meet). If I've corresponded individually with a student whose name doesn't hold convey immediate gender associations to me to any degree, I usually form an impression of the student's gender, but I'd say I'm wrong a good 25-30% of the time.


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