responses; (c) situational factors, which may
be denned as anything specific to the interaction
between subject and experimenter at
the time of the experiment, such as the
relationship between the two, appearance of
the laboratory, or the experimenter's prior
experience in conducting psychological research;
and (d) expectancy effects, which refer
to the effects of the experimenters' expectations
on the outcome of the experiment. Each
of these sources of possible artifact has received
considerable attention, and documentation
of the effect of each may be found
elsewhere (Adair, 1973; Rosenthal, 1966,
1969, 1976; Rosenthal & Rosnow, 1969; Rosenthal
& Rubin, 1978).
In an attempt to extend the literature on
experimenter effects, we examined the effect
of experimenters' physical attractiveness and
attire on subjects' responses and experimenters'
own subsequent behavior. Considerable
evidence from a number of studies suggests
that there exists a stereotype in American
culture for physically attractive individuals.
Specifically, more attractive persons are assumed
to have more socially desirable personality
traits, to be happier and more successful,
and to be more successful in the
future than are less physically attractive people
(Dion, Berscheid, & Walster, 1972; Larrance
& Zuckerman, 1981; Miller, 1970; Sparacino
& Hansell, 1979). This perception extends to
nearly every positive personality characteristic,
including warmth, responsiveness, sensitivity,
kindness, poise, modesty, and sociability; in
addition, physically attractive people are perceived
as more interesting and more outgoing
than their physically unattractive counterparts
(Berscheid & Walster, 1974). Dion et al.
(1972) showed that this stereotyped perception
is also robust; its effects are evident regardless
of the sex of the experimenter or subject.
Furthermore, subjects are more lenient when
recommending punishments for...