You would think having an attractive teacher would keep you distracted and daydreaming but according to a new study it's the opposite.

A study out of University of Nevada Las Vegas found that students who have good-looking teachers get better grades.

The experiment was done on college students and each were given audio to listen to a plus a picture of a "teacher." However, there were two pictures, where one was more attractive than the other. After listening to the audio, the students were asked to take a test. The ones who thought their teacher was good looking did better than the students who did not.

In addition, the more attractive teacher was also given a better review.

This finding is known as "the attractiveness stereotype." In other studies:

...have shown that attractive people are judged to be more competent... more persuasive... and more socially skilled..."

So how does attractiveness affect teaching/learning? Researchers came to two possible conclusions:

  1. Self-fulfilling prophecy effect - students have an "expectation" of attractive teachers which can make the instructor more engaging which increases teaching.
  2. Attractive teachers get more attention from their students.

I find this to be very interesting because all I can think about is Van Halen's song "Hot for Teacher." I can't imagine those guys got good grades picturing their teacher like that.

SOURCE: KTNV & The Journal of General Psychology