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ERIC Number: ED306622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May-28
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Physical Attractiveness and Spokesperson Sex on Perceived Source and Organization Credibility.
Robinson, Donna L.; And Others
To explore the dimensions of credibility and physical attractiveness in a public relations setting, the impact of public relations (PR) spokesperson physical attractiveness--as operationalized as photographs of the spokesperson attached to a press release--on perceptions of both the writer's and the organization's credibility was examined. Subjects, 140 students enrolled in communication courses at a large southeastern university, randomly placed in one of six experimental groups or in the control group, were asked to evaluate the public relations release reportedly written by either a male or female "J. Smith" exhibiting one of three predetermined levels of attractiveness. The experimental groups read the press release and saw a photograph of "J. Smith"; the control group read the same release but did not see a photo. Subjects then rated the spokesperson, "J. Smith," on scales measuring source attraction, credibility, and distraction. Additionally, they responded to a 10-item questionnaire concerning perceptions of the organization sponsoring the press release. Results indicated that (1) the PR spokesperson's level of attraction did make differences in readers' perceptions of source credibility, but that such effects were a product of the interaction of spokesperson sex and the sex of the reader; and (2) where sex of reader and sex of spokesperson were concerned, cross-sex pairings yielded more positive reactions than did same-sex pairing. (Four tables of data are included, and 22 references are appended.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A