A teacher’s good looks may play a “previously overlooked” part in student learning, say researchers at the University of Nevada.
For the study, published last month in the Journal of General Psychology, 131 university students listened to an audio lecture, half with a male voice and the other half with a female voice, while looking at a photo of the purported lecturer. The photo varied for each student—69 participants looked at a “highly attractive” person and 62 at an “unattractive” person. (The photos had previously been rated for attractiveness by other students.)
Students who had an attractive educator scored higher than those with a less-attractive educator on a multiple-choice quiz on the lecture. Students also gave higher ratings in teaching ability and presentation to more attractive educators—though student perception of teaching ability did not necessarily predict a better score.