Achieving at university and beyond: Does it help to be good looking?

Nives Zubcevic, Felix Tinoziva Mavondo, Sandra Lorraine Luxton

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between attitudes to academic achievement and post university success using perceptions of attractiveness, gender, ethnic identity, personality, and social acceptance as antecedents. An online questionnaire was completed by male (N=116) and female (N=126) university students from various cultural backgrounds. To evaluate the proposed relationships, multiple regression analysis was used. The findings suggest that attractiveness is related to attitudes to academic achievement and success through its association with social appeal and acceptance. Ethnic identity is also related to both academic achievement and post university success. Personality is not positively related to academic achievement. Finally, social acceptance is positively related to academic achievement for males and to success for females. Whilst the survey targeted students from various cultural backgrounds studying in Australia, it did not look at university students from other countries. A crosscultural perspective could reveal further differences in attitudes. This study links attractiveness and academic achievement theories. The findings have implications for tertiary institutions and suggest academics and policymakers to vigorously promote core personality and values such as intelligence, communication skills, and sincerity, rather than allow superficial values such as attractiveness to be placed at the centre stage of students' endeavour. © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-804
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2012


  • Academic achievement
  • Australia
  • Ethnic groups
  • Ethnic identity
  • Gender
  • Personality
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Social acceptance
  • Success
  • Universities

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