Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
Murray G. Millar
Second Committee Member
Stephen D. Benning
Third Committee Member
Janice C. McMurray
Fourth Committee Member
Peter B. Gray
Number of Pages
Physical appearance has a far-reaching influence on a variety of human interactions, yet the effects on one domain has been largely ignored. This dissertation examines the potential effect of physical attractiveness on health care quality. Theoretical explanations for the development of both prejudice and stereotypes are presented, with a focus on the development and effects of attractiveness-based stereotypes. Several studies have found that workers in the medical field are susceptible to the same biases as the general public and that these are associated with lower health care quality for those more marginalized by society. Therefore, two studies were conducted to establish first, that health care workers possess attractiveness-based stereotypes similar to other segments of society and second, that these stereotypes affect the quality of health care received by individual patients. Based on these findings, there is a dire need for further research into this area. Automatic stereotype activation is extremely difficult to prevent, yet even more so when individuals are unaware of these stereotypes. Although programs exist to help reduce race and gender based stereotypic behavior in fields such as medicine or law enforcement, attractiveness-based stereotypes are largely ignored. Attempts cannot be undertaken for education and corrective action until we have a larger body of substantial basic research supporting the power that attractiveness-based stereotypes have over health-related decision-making.
Experimental Analysis of Behavior
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Westfall, Richard Shane, "The Effects of Physical Attractiveness in the Health Care Industry" (2018). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 3341.
IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/