Cosmetics Use Among Teachers is Irrelevant When Considering Student Retention

Margaret K. Burns, Christina M. Frederick*, Sierra Nevada College

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Abstract: Research evidence shows cosmetics positively impact female teacher confidence (Stuart & Donaghue, 2011). Female teachers wearing cosmetics indicate they feel more productive, knowledgeable, and confident than female teachers not wearing cosmetics (Dellinger & Williams, 1997). Sadler (2013) showed confidence also increases teaching effectiveness. The current study aimed to assess the impact of teacher confidence produced by cosmetics on student retention. This was experimentally assessed with 60 participants (39 females, 21 males) randomly assigned to view an 8 min, pre-recorded, lesson on facial anatomy led by a teacher in no cosmetics or full cosmetics. Upon lesson conclusion, participants completed a teacher confidence assessment (5-point Likert scale) and 10-item multiple choice quiz on lesson content. Data were sorted by condition, and the Mann-Whitney U (Ryan & Joiner, 2001) was used to test for differences in confidence ratings (p = .23) and content quiz scores (p = .58). Results show no significant difference between the cosmetics and no cosmetics conditions. A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for both the cosmetics (r = -.17) and no cosmetics condition (r = .11). No significant correlations were found in either condition. Although previous research (Stuart & Donaghue, 2011) may suggest teachers who do not wear cosmetics should wear cosmetics to increase their confidence, the current study provides evidence there is no need for adjustment to cosmetics use.

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