Term of Award

Fall 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Michael Nielsen

Committee Member 1

Dorthie Cross

Committee Member 2

Jason Slone


The hijab, a symbol of modesty and privacy in the Islamic faith, negatively affects ratings of perceived attractiveness. Although postcolonial feminism strives to portray women as not one universal group, but as an incorporation of different races, ethnicities, social classes, and other cultures, the Western world may not be where it endeavors to be. In this study the impact of the hijab on people’s perceptions of attractiveness was examined. Participants rated four target photos of the same woman with and without a hijab, and with or without cosmetics. Attractiveness and trustworthiness was then assessed in each condition, between genders, in relation to personal feminism ratings, and in relation to religious schema beliefs. Based on the Halo Effect, I hypothesized that lower ratings of attractiveness would lead to lower ratings of trustworthiness. The data, however, did not conform to this effect. Participants who rated themselves as higher in Religious Schema, therefore identifying as less open-minded in religious belief, gave lower ratings of attractiveness for the women when she wore the hijab. Participants who endorsed feminism, however, showed with higher ratings in attractiveness for all conditions. Results are discussed in light of research on feminism and religious belief.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material