Monday, May 08, 2006

The Indiana Jones Effect

Exams are winding down, and I should be posting more regularly very soon. Until then, an interesting article on professor rating websites. is a popular website where students, as the name suggests, rate their professors on a variety of criteria. It's not all that popular at UNC, mainly because also includes statistics on the types of grades a teacher gives. However, the site is used by thousands of students as well as faculty across the U.S.

This sort of massive conglomeration of statistics begs analysis and, fortunately, James Felton was on the ball. He looked at the stats and made an astonishing discovery.

Students like hot and easy professors.

Ok, so maybe that's not a huge surprise. However, it is interesting to me that professors are (slightly) more likely to get higher ratings if they are hot, rather than easy. Also, of interest, is low correlation between hotness and easiness. Apparently you just have to be one or the other.

I had no idea that being physically attractive was so important to students. I am however comforted, that "Languages" as a discipline averages both the hottest, and the highest quality.


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