Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-30-2023

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Aaron Schurger


When creating psychological research surveys, demographics are typically recorded at the end of the primary survey. Psychologists suggest placing demographic questions at the end to omit any biases from the participants (Hughes et al., 2016). Does the placement of these types of questions influence people without them knowing? How does this apply across different ethnic groups? Can demographic question placement prime individuals in their self-rating of attractiveness and the overall impact of demographic placement on survey results? After an initial round, we wanted to see if ethnic groups would be primed differently when viewing people of the same race. We also investigated whether parents' views on beauty standards impacted them more than the American beauty standards participants grew up with. To test this question, this project will conduct five surveys, each gearing towards a specific racial group: White, Black, East/Southeast Asian, South Asian, and Hispanic. Each survey will have two versions of the study to compare self-ratings of overall attractiveness. In version one, individuals will first answer demographic questions, rate the celebrities’ attractiveness of their stated racial group, and then rate their own attractiveness. In version two, participants will first rate the celebrities’ attractiveness, rate their attractiveness, and then answer demographic questions. Participants primed with their demographics at the beginning rated their attractiveness lower than participants who answered them at the end. In the second round of data, we will test if ethnic groups are more impacted by seeing celebrities of their same racial group. Overall, this research will further our understanding of demographic question placement and which marginalized groups are impacted the most. This is important since many testing formats currently place demographic questions at the beginning. Thus, this research will influence not only how psychologists conduct research, but also how proctors execute standardized testing in classroom settings.


Presented at the Fall 2023 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.