“Match-Up Revisited: The Effect of Staff Attractiveness on Purchase Intentions in Younger Adult Females: Social Comparative and Product Relevance Effects,” Journal of International Business and Economics, Bianca E. Price and Duncan W. Murray, vol. 9, no. 2, 2009, pp. 55-76. The researchers are at the University of South Australia.
University World interviews the lead author:
Bianca Price, the PhD researcher heading the study, found that women were less likely to make a purchase if they thought the sales woman was more attractive than them. “I suppose this study was inspired by my own experiences,” said Price, a body image and beauty specialist at the Adelaide-based university. “I, like most women, enjoy shopping. However, often my enjoyment of shopping has been impacted on negatively by my interactions with female salespeople….
“I have never been the most confident girl nor do I have the highest self-esteem and so when I go shopping for clothes and items that will hopefully make me feel better about myself, and ideally make me more attractive, I am placing myself in a context of esteem risk.”
(Thanks to investigator Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.)