Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Tyler O’Brien


Interpersonal attraction; College majors; Income;


This study explores the effect of undergraduate major, as an indicator of wealth, on men’s attractiveness in different types of relationships. Research on the effect of socioeconomic status on perceptions of attractiveness finds that unattractive men with high incomes are perceived to be more attractive than attractive men with low incomes. This preference for high-earning should then apply to an indicator of future wealth, measured by undergraduate major. College-aged women (n=76) were surveyed twice, once to rate men’s attractiveness level and their willingness to participate in different types of relationships with the men based on a picture alone, and again to rate the men’s attractiveness and their willingness to participate in various relationships based on a photograph of the men and information about their undergraduate major. The results show that the attractiveness level and willingness to participate in short-term relationships with the male of lower-earning potential increases significantly, while the results for the higher-earning male does not. Based on the results of this study there is no indication that having a high-earning undergraduate major affects perceptions of attractiveness or willingness to participate in types of relationships.

Year of Submission



Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (28 pages)



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