Physical Appearance and the Perceived Effectiveness of Performance Enhancement Consultants

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 West Virginia University
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Research has revealed that dress and build can impact others’ perceptions of personality, knowledge, competence, and effectiveness (Hash, Munna, Vogel, & Bason, 2003; Lennon, 1986). This study investigated athletes’ first impression formation of performance enhancement consultants (PECs) and its influence on athletes’ perceptions of their knowledge, ability, and personality characteristics. Participants (N = 86) rated 11 pictures of PECs on personality traits, sport knowledge, and likeliness of seeking services. Results revealed that build and dress were most influential on PEC ratings. PECs with a lean build and academic clothing were rated higher on personality traits PECs than other groups. PECs with a lean build and athletic clothing were rated higher on sport knowledge and more likely to be sought for services than PECs with a large build and academic clothing.

The authors are with the Sport and Exercise Psychology program at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. E-mail:

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