Facial features, physical appearance, objective attractiveness, face perception, the golden ratio, mentoring, career development, e mentoring, socialization outcomes, sexual attribution bias, mentor perceptions, protege behavior, stereotyped attitudes, attractiveness bias


The bias against attractiveness is fairly implicit and furthermore, powerfully impacts people’s subsequent impressions of and behaviors toward others (Cash, Gillen, & Burns, 1977; Dion et al., 1972). Pallet, Link and Lee (2010) examined the effect of various facial spatial configurations on attractiveness and found that raters rated faces as most attractive when the eyeto-mouth ratio approximated 36% of the face length (the "golden ratio"), which coincides with the measurements of an average and thus more attractive face. The present study examined the extent to which the distance of these objectively measured facial features affected mentors’ perceptions of their protégés, the subsequent mentoring given to them, and the protégés’ own behavior (e.g. seek feedback, request specific information).The gender composition of the mentor-protégé dyad was expected to moderate these relationships. I also examined whether, given the expected effects of facial measurements, withholding access to visual cues would affect mentor perceptions and behavior. Participants were 118 mentor/protégé dyads from a large Southeastern university who volunteered to participate in a formal online peer mentoring program. After seeing their protégés’ profiles (and for those in the experimental condition, a picture), mentors chatted with their protégés once a week for 30 minutes for a total of 4 weeks. Results indicated that protégés with facial features moderately distant from the golden ratio were perceived as more similar by mentors in same-gender dyads and received greater mentoring than did protégés closest and farthest from the golden ratio. In opposite-gender dyads, however, mentors reported greater similarity toward those that were farthest from the golden ratio but provided the greatest mentoring to those closest to the golden ratio. The relationship iv between facial measurements and protégé proactivity was moderated by whether or not their mentor had access to their picture. While protégés closest to the ratio were more proactive in the picture condition, those that were farthest from it were more proactive in the non-picture condition. Proactivity was as expected associated with greater levels of mentoring, which was ultimately related to a more fulfilled and beneficial relationship for protégés (i.e. less stress, greater self-efficacy and satisfaction). The results of this study indicate that facial measurements are associated with both differences in mentor and in protégé behavior and that the specific nature of these relationships differs as a function of gender composition. Implications for practice and theory will be discussed


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Graduation Date





Jentsch, Kimberly


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program

Psychology; Industrial and Organizational








Release Date

February 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic