Discussion Paper of the Institute for Organisational Economics 6/2013
Scholars’ Physical Appearance, Research Performance
and Feelings of Happiness
Alexander Dilger/Laura Lütkenhöner/Harry Müller
Our study aims to analyse whether former feelings of happiness and/or physical appearance have influence on the subsequent observable research performance of scholars. Therefore we photographed 49 persons attending the 72nd annual conference of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB), which took place in Bremen in 2010. We interviewed them about their feelings of happiness. Later we asked students to evaluate the photographed persons’ attractiveness, competence, trustworthiness, likeability and their feelings of happiness. To determine the academics’ research performance we compiled a list of their recent journal publications, considering different journal weights and dividing them by the number of authors. Regression analyses reveal that feelings of happiness in 2010 significantly increase research performance in 2011/2012. In addition, they suggest that scholars’ physical appearance can affect their research performance. In particular we observe that a trustworthy appearance has a significantly positive effect.