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Do Students Learn Better From Attractive Teachers?

Source: hollywood.com

How to make students study better? We’ve tried a plethora of methods. First, we tried to punish them for poor marks. Then, we encouraged them for excellent marks and cut off pocket money for bad grades too. After that, we also tried placing our kids under house arrest, should they’ve studied inappropriately. All in all, parents tried plenty of tricks and incentives to make children study better.

In the meantime, educational authorities used the time to work in this direction too. Every year appear new teaching guidelines and methods designed to spur students perform better. Apart from assigning more and more essays as the part of the agenda, education masterminds sometimes come up with things rather peculiar.

An article titled “Effects of Instructor Attractiveness on Learning” by R. Shane Westfall, Murray Millar and Mandy Walsh, published in Journal of General Psychology, July 13, claims that teacher’s amicable appearance might be that very factor to influence students do better at homework and tests. There's another study which considers scholarly vs. popular media focus on sexuality and can also help you understand the topic better. 

So, should we now opt for ripped male professors and model-looking female teachers who know to work out and go light on them chocolate muffins? Researches for the University of Nevada say that although sexual appeal isn’t the case, attractive appearance is still the deal-breaker here. Plus, a teacher doesn’t even have to be of the same sex to be considered attractive enough to boost students’ grades.

Experiment simple, yet very efficient

To conduct the experiment, 131 college students were invited to listen to a recording of a short, 20-minute lecture about some basic Physics stuff. Nothing serious, just the introduction to the course. The students were divided into two groups, one group was offered to listen to a lecture recorded by an attractive male teacher while the other group – by not as much easy-on-the-eye female (photos had been chosen based on volunteer students’ preferences).    

After a lecture, students were asked to complete a 25-item quiz regarding the given material. Eventually, students from an attractive lecturer’s group scored 18.27 points average, whereas students from a less comely lecturer’s group scored 16.68 points correspondingly. If you say the gap isn’t astonishing, you’ll be right, however, researches say it’s statistically significant, so let’s take their word on it.

In addition, after the test students were asked to rate a lecturer. It goes without saying, a more attractive teacher has allegedly been considered more apt, motivating, invigorating and competent. Students, both male and female agreed they would’ve rather taught from an energetic hunk rather than a cat lady with a strident voice. No sexual implication here, though, only unbiased academic calculation.

Why they wanted such research on the first place?

Source: via GIPHY

Education wasn’t the first area to study the influence of physical appearance on different aspects of decision making and perceiving information. In fact, there’s a mountain and a half of previous researches on the topic, which showed wooing people were considered more successful, smart, persuasive and welcomed.

Take a look for yourself. Previous studies have confirmed amiable murderers were sentenced lightly than if they stood Chikatilo-looking lunatics. From bad to worse, mothers tend to care more about pretty babies rather than… not pretty ones. Whereas kids pay off with the same coin, straining ears to attractive adults more than to ugly, ill-tempered ones. Finally, handsome employees are paid more and promoted often rather than grey blurs. The Same rule of thumb works for pretty politicians with higher chances of winning the election, which is a great pity actually.     

So, should we hire fitness instructors for Math professors and Paris haute-couture podium models for History lecturers? Newest study suggests we should at least consider the option. However, there’s a strong suspicion those attractive in a non-sexual way candidates will want to charge Education folds up top more, so in the nearest future we’ll keep on witnessing cat ladies and grumpy old fudges for professors. If not for their abs and tantalizing smile, then for their undisputed subject knowledge and time-tested teaching skills.