People generally considered to physically unattractive are more likely to be bullied and put down on the job, according to a new study
led by Michigan State University.
The study involved 114 workers at a healthcare facility in a southern US state whose photographs were assessed by strangers to detect any patterns of who, and who was not, considered attractive. These results were matched against worker surveys wherein it was asked how often they'd been treated cruelly by their peers. A link was found between those thought of as "ugly" and those who'd reported being picked on.
"The unattractive workers were treated much more harshly than attractive employees even when other key factors were taken into account," reads the report, "including age, gender and how long they had worked at the health care facility."
While it may be assumed that better looking employees are harassing their less attractive peers, this isn't clear from the data. It's possible that those being bullied and those doing
the bullying are the same individuals. The study appeared to ask only who'd been the target of ill treatment, not who had ever perpetrated it.
"Frankly, it's an ugly finding," said lead study author Brent Scott. "Although we like to think we're professional and mature in the workplace, it can be just like high school in many ways."
Via Michigan State University