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Below are some statistics that you may use to interest prospective clients in image consultation and other services.

GROUND-BREAKING STUDY: Dr. Joyce Knudsen played a leading role in the ground-breaking study sponsored by the AICI which showed image consulting services give a big boost to people’s self-esteem. She is the first image consultant in the world to hold the coveted “Certified Image Master” designation from The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), as well as being the first AICI CIM trainer to teach abroad. Read Letter from Central Michigan University (Alumni).

95% of employers said a jobseeker’s personal appearance affected their opinion of the applicant’s suitability for the job.

91% said they believe dress and grooming reflected the applicant’s attitude toward the company and 61% said dress and grooming had an effect on subsequent promotions.

A survey created by Yankelovich Partners, Inc. had these key findings:

Most Americans believe clothing, hair, and makeup are important for a woman to make a good appearance on the job. Nearly seven in ten (69%) Americans believe clothing, hair and makeup are very or extremely important for a woman to make a good appearance on the job. One in five (21%) believes it is somewhat important, and seven percent believe it is not very or not at all important.

Americans believe a woman’s appearance at work affects certain aspects of her future performance on the job. Eighty-four percent of Americans believe a woman’s appearance affects whether she is asked to represent her company at outside meetings, and three in four believe it affects whether she is take n seriously (76%), asked to participate in meetings with upper management (74%), or is well regarded by colleagues and supervisors (74%). Two thirds believe a woman will be given new challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities (67%), or considered for a raise or promotion (64%).

Americans believe a woman’s appearance affects her confidence in her ability to perform her job. Nearly half (46%) of Americans believe clothes, hair and makeup affects a woman’s confidence in her ability to perform her job well, followed by one-third (32%) who believes it is somewhat true. One in six (18%) does not believe these factors affect a woman’s confidence in her ability to perform her job well.

Americans believe that a woman’s appearance at work affects her ability to perform her job well. More than half (59%) of Americans believe appearance is a factor, while 36% believe appearance is not a factor. Five percent of Americans are not sure of any if the statements are true.

Professor Albert Mehrabian’s Communications Model

Professor Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the understanding of communications since the 1960s. He received his PhD from Clark University and in l964 commenced an extended career of teaching and research at the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently devotes his time to research, writing, and consulting as Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA. Mehrabian’s work featured strongly (mid-late 1900s) in establishing early understanding of body language and nonverbal communication.

Aside from his many and various other fascinating works, Mehrabian’s research provided the basis for the widely quoted and often much over-simplified statistic for the effectiveness of spoken communications.

Here is a more precise (and necessarily detailed) representation of Mehrabian’s findings than is typically cited or applied:

  • 7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
  • 38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
  • 55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.

Other important contextual and qualifying details are:

Mehrabian did not intend the statistic to be used or applied freely to all communications and meaning.

Mehrabian provides this useful explanatory note (from his own website-, retrieved 29 May 2009):

“…Inconsistent communications – the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages: My findings on this topic have received considerable attention in the literature and in the popular media. ‘Silent Messages’ [Mehrabian’s key book] contains a detailed discussion of my findings on inconsistent messages of feelings and attitudes (and the relative importance of words vs. nonverbal cues) on pages 75 to 80.

Total Liking = 7% Verbal Liking 38% Vocal Liking 55% Facial Liking

Please note that this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e., like-dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable. Also see references 286 and 305 in Silent Messages – these are the original sources of my findings…”

(Albert Mehrabian, source, retrieved 29 May 2009)

The ‘Mehrabian formula’ (7%/38%/55%) was established in situations where there was incongruence between words and expression.

That is, where the words did not match the facial expression: specifically, in Mehrabian’s research people tended to believe the expression they saw, not the words spoken.