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The effect of the face of a consultant on risk taking behavior by his clients

Onderdijk, Arnoud Aart (2018) The effect of the face of a consultant on risk taking behavior by his clients.

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Abstract:People do judge other people by their appearance, and those judgments are already made within 100ms. This paper therefore investigates the relative impact of the facial Width-to-Hight ratio of a consultant on his clients’ tendency towards a risky investment decision. Furthermore, this research investigates whether the facial Width-to-Hight ratio of a consultant influences clients’ preferences of a consultant. The moderation effects of the variables age, gender and nationality were analyzed too. Hypotheses were tested by performing an online survey. Respondents were first asked which out of two consultants they prefer if they had to make a risky investment decision regardless of the situational context. After that, a fictional business problem was presented where two fictional consultants came up with a solution. The first consultant presented a rather secure solution with low risk involved, where the second consultant presented a riskier solution. Respondents were asked to choose among the two consultants and their ideas. The questionnaire with both questions got two versions, a version where the second consultant’s face was small and a version where the second consultant’s face was wide. The survey got 361 responses, 191 for version 1 and 170 for version 2. Contradicting with the hypotheses, it was found that people prefer a consultant with a wider face when making a risky investment decision. However, the facial Width-to-Hight ratio of a consultant does not have an influence on a clients’ tendency towards a risky investment decision. Moderation effects were found for the variables age and nationality, where a wider face has a greater impact on professionals (with an age above 25) compared to students (with an age till 25) and on people with an Asian nationality compared to people with a European nationality.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/75355
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