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How blondes can raise more money for charity going door to doorBlondes found to raise 23 per cent more than equally attractive brunettesHowever the 'blonde effect' is entirely driven by Caucasian donorsBlondes found to receive significantly less from minority households
12:01 GMT, 28 December 2012
If you are looking for a way to raise more money for charity, science has a simple answer: go blonde.
Donors to charities give nearly a quarter more if they are approached by a blonde fundraiser than a brunette, a study claims.
But be careful which families you pick. The same research shows that blondes receive significantly lower donations at non-Caucasian households.
Money spinner: Blonde hair can increase the amount of donations a woman raising money for charity can solicit by as much as 23 per cent, a study claims
Researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville conducted a study to investigate the effect of hair colour on the generosity of those solicited for charitable donations.
'This study examines how a cosmetic attribute – hair colour – impacts productivity in a door-to-door fund-raising experiment,' wrote Michael Price, assistant professor of economics, in the study published in Economics Letters.
Taking into account previous studies which showed how attractiveness affected earnings, Professor Price investigated whether similar returns are correlated with hair colour.
He found that blonde women gained much more from their perceived good looks, but that this was only the case when they visited Caucasian households – with non-Caucasian households apparently unaffected by good looking blondes.
'The returns to physical appearance are approximately 71.6 to 76.0 per cent greater for a blonde female than a brunette (minority) counterpart,' Professor Price wrote.
'Interestingly, the returns to beauty for blonde females are driven entirely by Caucasian households. In fact, blondes receive significantly lower donations at non-Caucasian households.
'Yet there is no discernible difference across household types for both brunette and minority females.'
Unaffected: The study also showed that the extra
fundraising effect of blonde hair was lost when blonde volunteers
visited non-Caucasians – but that brunettes and ethnic minority
volunteers still received as much
THE BEAUTIFUL ARE THE DAMNED
Women charged with murder who plead self defence are more likely to be perceived as guilty if have 'thick lips' and 'smooth and harmonious facial features', says a study.
The findings made by a team from the University of Grenada, Spain, contradict the generally held stereotype that beauty deflects criminal responsibility.
They found that in the case of a woman claiming self defence in the killing of an abusive husband, police officers were more likely to regard as innocent defendants who were described as unattractive.
The findings also showed that women perceived as more independent and in charge of their lives were also more likely to be seen as guilty of murder.
Legal processes are ideally conducted without bias, but in reality biases influence all human judgements and looking at how these prejudices shape behaviour should help to minimise their effect.
In the past, social psychologists had widely accepted the contention that beautiful people are less likely to be regarded as criminally responsible.
The study looked at the amounts of money people living in Pitt County, North Carolina, were willing to contribute to the Center for Natural Hazards Mitigation Research at East Carolina University.
Professor Price enlisted 44 volunteers to visit 1,755 potential donor households, 522 of which actually contributed money to the cause.
However, for the purposes of the study, the research was restricted to 955 households who were approached by 23 female volunteers.
Professor Price and his team took digital photos of each of these female volunteers, divided them into blondes, brunettes and minorities, and asked undergraduate students to rate their attractiveness.
They found that households were around 13 per cent more likely to contribute when approached by an attractive female.
However, keeping beauty a constant, findings showed that households were 23 per cent more likely to make a donation when visited by a blonde femail than a brunette who was judged just as attractive.
However, when blondes visited minority households, findings showed the effects of their attractiveness was muted, with the effect of increasing the beauty of the blonde visitor 509.7 per cent lower than that of a brunette.
'Empirical results suggest that returns to physical appearance are, on average, greater for blonde females but depend critically on characteristics of the potential donor,' Professor Price concluded.