Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Donate-Bartfield, Evelyn

Second Advisor

Bradley, Thomas G.

Third Advisor

Liu, Dawei


This study explored the influence of fixed and removable orthodontic appliances on participants’ ratings of the job performance, intelligence, and attractiveness of an adult female. Ninety-four adult subjects were recruited from the Graduate School of Management at Marquette University. Each subject received an identical employee performance review with an attached photograph of a female employee. The smile of the photo was manipulated to represent one of four conditions: no orthodontic appliance, a metal orthodontic appliance, a ceramic orthodontic appliance, or a clear aligner. Subjects then rated the employee on three continuous Likert scales. Ratings of job performance, intelligence, and attractiveness were not correlated. There were no significant differences between the types of orthodontic appliance for overall ratings of job performance, intelligence, and attractiveness. However, when analyzed by the subject’s gender, there was a significant interaction between gender and type of orthodontic appliance pictured for intelligence ratings. Female respondents rated the photos with the metal appliance with lower intelligence than the photo with the clear aligner while male respondents answered in the opposite manner. Background facial attractiveness may be a better predictor than smile esthetics of the psychosocial ratings of individuals. However, both gender and the presence or absence of an orthodontic appliance can influence assessments of perceived intelligence or similar qualities in the workplace.