Marketing and Management of Innovations

ISSN (print) – 2218-4511 

ISSN (online) – 2227-6718

Registered in the Media Registrants-Register

Identifier in the register: R30-01179 Decision dated August 31, 2023, No. 759

The language of publication is English. 

Issued 4 times a year (March, June, September, December) since 2010

Business Model: Golden Open Access | APC Policy

Editor-in-Chieff             View Editorial Board

Oleksii Lyulyov

Sumy State University | Ukraine

The Impact of Flight Attendants' Attractiveness on Perceived Service Quality: An EEG Perspective

Sahap Akan 1,*,   , Ozlem Atalik 2,
  1. Civil Aviation High School, Dicle University, Turkey
  2. Department of Aviation Management, Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Eskisehir Technical University, Turkey

     * Corresponding author

Received: 05 November 2023

Revised: 08 February 2024

Accepted: 20 February 2024


Competition in the airline transportation sector has significantly intensified following the deregulation act in the United States. To remain competitive, airline companies have begun implementing a range of strategies. One of the strategies commonly used by airlines is to improve service quality. Service quality has been very beneficial for airline companies to maintain profitability and increase market share. To achieve this goal, airlines must investigate the factors influencing service quality and enact improvements and regulations based on these determinants. There are significant studies in the literature on the influence of service employees on service quality. However, there are only a limited number of studies on the influence of the service quality of flight attendants, who are the public face of airline operations, on service quality. This study focuses on the influence of the level of attractiveness (a nonverbal characteristic) of flight attendants on perceived service quality. This research employs a neuromarketing method, specifically the frontal asymmetry approach, using electroencephalography (EEG) techniques. In the experiment, 37 participants were recruited, including 19 males and 18 females, and frontal alpha asymmetry metric results were derived from electrode pairs. In the experiment conducted at the Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Eskisehir Technical University, participants also evaluated the influence of flight attendant attractiveness on service quality using a survey technique. The findings indicate a significant difference in frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) metrics between attractive and unattractive flight attendants. FFA metrics of attractive flight attendants were greater than those of unattractive flight attendants. Additionally, FAA metrics were found to be greater under favourable service delivery than under unfavourable service delivery. Furthermore, among the service dimensions, the reliability and responsiveness dimensions had higher FAA metrics than did the other dimensions. A study comparing EEG results with survey responses revealed a statistically significant difference. The findings indicate that flight attendants with higher levels of attractiveness enhance their motivation to approach, thereby contributing to an improvement in perceived service quality. Moreover, these findings underscore the potential of neuromarketing methods for validating outcomes from conventional research approaches. Based on these findings, airlines should develop policies that prioritize attractive attributes in the recruitment of flight attendants. In addition, implementing various programs and incentive systems to maintain the attractiveness of flight attendants is essential. Moreover, providing services with diversified flight attendant profiles tailored to different customer segments is considered crucial for customer satisfaction and experience. Future studies could achieve more comprehensive results by using diverse sample sizes and age groups along with different neuromarketing techniques. Furthermore, the findings suggest a high potential for applying the frontal alpha asymmetry approach in other marketing fields.

Keywords: airline industry; EEG-based metrics; frontal alpha asymmetry; neuromarketing; physical attractiveness; perceptions of service quality.

How to Cite: Akan, S., & Atalik, O. (2024). The Impact of Flight Attendants’ Attractiveness on Perceived Service Quality: An EEG Perspective. Marketing and Management of Innovations, 15(1), 178194.

Abstract Views

PDF Downloads


  1. ACI (2022). The impact of COVID-19 on airports—and the path to recovery. [Link]
  2. Addepalli, S., Pagalday, G., Salonitis, K., & Roy, R. (2018). Socioeconomic and demographic factors that contribute to the growth of the civil aviation industry. Procedia Manufacturing, 19, 2–9. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Aldayel, M., Ykhlef, M., & Al-Nafjan, A. (2020). Deep learning for EEG-based preference classification in neuromarketing. Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 10(4), 1–23. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  4. Angus, D. J., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2016). On the neuroscience of approach and withdrawal motivation, with a focus on the role of asymmetrical frontal cortical activity. Advances in Motivation and Achievement, 19, 37–63. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  5. Arapakis, I., Barreda-Angeles, M., & Pereda-Banos, A. (2019). Interest as a Proxy of Engagement in News Reading: Spectral and Entropy Analyses of EEG Activity Patterns. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 10(1), 100–114. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  6. Babbar, S., & Koufteros, X. (2008). The human element in airline service quality: Contact personnel and the customer. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 28(9), 804–830. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  7. Bakır, M., Akan, Ş., Ozdemir, E., Nguyen, P. H., Tsai, J. F., & Pham, H. A. (2022). How to achieve passenger satisfaction in the airport? Findings from regression analysis and necessary condition analysis approaches through online airport reviews. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14(4). [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  8. Benitez, D. S., Toscano, S., & Silva, A. (2016). On the Use of the Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset As A Low Cost Alternative For EEG Signal Acquisition. 2016 IEEE Colombian Conference on Communications and Computing (COLCOM), 1–6. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  9. Benitez, M., Peccei, R., & Medina, F. J. (2019). Employee well-being profiles and service quality: a unit-level analysis using a multilevel latent profile approach. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 28(6), 859–872. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1972). Beauty and the best. Psychology Today, 5(8), 42–46. [Google Scholar]
  11. Bitner, M. J. (1990). Evaluating Service Encounters: The Effects of Physical Surroundings and Employee Responses. Journal of Marketing, 54(2), 69. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. Boshoff, C. (2012). A neurophysiological assessment of consumers’ emotional responses to service recovery behaviors: The impact of ethnic group and gender similarity. Journal of Service Research, 15(4), 401–413. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  13. Boshoff, C. (2017). An assessment of consumers’ subconscious responses to frontline employees’ attractiveness in a service failure and recovery situation. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 20(1), 1–13. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  14. Brenninkmeijer, J., Schneider, T., and Woolgar, S. (2020). Witness and silence in neuromarketing: Managing the gap between science and its application. Science Technology and Human Values, 45(1), 62–86. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  15. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1994). Service Occupations: Cleaning, Food, and Personal. [Link]
  16. Caballero, M., & Resnik, A. J. (1986). The attraction paradigm in dyadic exchange. Psychology and Marketing, 3(1), 17–34. [Google Scholar][CrossRef]
  17. Choi, H. C., Huang, S., Choi, H., & Chang, H. (2020). The effect of flight attendants’ physical attractiveness on satisfaction, positive emotion, perceived value, and behavioral intention. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 44(March), 19–29. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  18. Cohen, J. (2007). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. Academic Press. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  19. Cyril Demaria. (2010). What Can I Do Now? Travel and Tourism: Exploring Careers for Your Future. Ferguson Publishing. [Link]
  20. Daǧdeviren, M. (2010). A hybrid multicriteria decision-making model for personnel selection in manufacturing systems. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 21(4), 451–460. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  21. Davidson, R. J. (1998). Affective style and affective disorders: Perspectives from affective neuroscience. Cognition and Emotion, 12(3), 307–330. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  22. Davidson, R. J., Schwartz, G. E., Saron, C., Bennett, J., & Goleman, D. J. (1978). Frontal versus parietal EEG asymmetry during positive and negative affect. Psychophysiology, 16, 202–203. [Google Scholar]
  23. Dean, D. H. (2014). A “halo” effect for inference of managerial ability from physical appearance. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 4(10), 15–23. [Google Scholar]
  24. Delacre, M., Lakens, D., & Leys, C. (2017). Why psychologists should by default use welch’s t Test instead of student’s t Test. International Review of Social Psychology, 30(1), 92–101. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  25. Dong, P., & Wyer, R. S. (2014). How time flies: The effects of conversation characteristics and partner attractiveness on duration judgments in a social interaction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 50(1), 1–14. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  26. Dsilva, J., Balasubramanian, S., Ajayan, S., & Paris, C. M. (2020). An expectation-experience analysis of service quality of business travelers in low-cost airlines. E-Review of Tourism Research, 18(3), 375–392. [Google Scholar]
  27. Dube, K. (2023). Emerging from the COVID-19 Pandemic: Aviation Recovery, Challenges and Opportunities. aerospace, 10(1). [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  28. Dulabh, M., Vazquez, D., Ryding, D., & Casson, A. (2018). Measuring consumer engagement in the brain to online interactive shopping environments. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Empowering Human, Place and Business, 145–165. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  29. El Haddad, R. (2019). Exploring service quality of low cost airlines. Services Marketing Quarterly, 40(4), 301–315. [Google Scholar][CrossRef]
  30. El-Borie, M. A., Abd-Elzaher, M., & Al Shenawy, A. (2012). Solar and geomagnetic activity effects on global surface temperatures. American Journal of Environmental Engineering, 2(4), 80–85. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  31. (2023). 14-Channel Wireless Eeg Headset. [Link]
  32. Field, A. (2009). Dicovering Statistics Using SPSS. SAGE Publications, [Google Scholar]
  33. Gabbott, M., & Hogg, G. (2000). An empirical investigation of the impact of non‐verbal communication on service evaluation. European Journal of Marketing, 34(3/4), 384–398. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  34. Garczarek, U., Andrzej, B., Piotr, S., & Aneta, G. (2021). A comparative analysis of neuromarketing methods for brand purchasing predictions among young adults. Journal of Brand Management, 28, 171–185 [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  35. Ghobadian, A., Speller, S., & Jones, M. (1994). Service quality: Concepts and models. International journal of quality and reliability management11(9), 43–66. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  36. Hauser, D. J., Ellsworth, P. C., & Gonzalez, R. (2018). Are manipulation checks necessary? Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1–10. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  37. Heracleous, L., Wirtz, J., & Pangarkar, N. (2006). Flying High in a Competitive Industry. McGraw-Hill. [Google Scholar]
  38. Hill, K. E., Neo, W. S., Hernandez, A., Hamrick, L. R., Kelleher, B. L., & Foti, D. (2020). Intergenerational transmission of frontal alpha asymmetry among mother–infant dyads. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 5(4), 420–428. [Google Scholar][CrossRef]
  39. Hsu, L., & Chen, Y. J. (2020). Neuromarketing, subliminal advertising, and hotel selection: An EEG study. Australasian Marketing Journal, 28(4), 200–208. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  40. Hussain, R., Al Nasser, A., & Hussain, Y. K. (2015). Service quality and customer satisfaction of a UAE-based airline: An empirical investigation. Journal of Air Transport Management, 42, 167–175. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  41. (2020). The World of Air Transport in 2019. [Link]
  42. Jager, J. W. de, & Zyl, D. van. (2013). Airline service quality in south africa and malaysia- an international customer expectations approach. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 5(11), 752–761. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  43. Jiang, X., Bian, G. Bin, & Tian, Z. (2019). Removal of artifacts from EEG signals: A review. Sensors (Switzerland), 19(5), 1–18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  44. Karam, S., Nagahi, M., Dayarathna, V. L., Ma, J., Jaradat, R., & Hamilton, M. (2020). Integrating systems thinking skills with multicriteria decision-making technology to recruit employee candidates. Expert Systems with Applications160, 113585. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  45. Keh, H. T., Ren, R., Hill, S. R., & Li, X. (2013). The beautiful, the cheerful, and the helpful: the effects of service employee attributes on customer satisfaction. Psychology and Marketing, 30(3), 211–226. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  46. Kilmen, S. (2015). Eğitim Araştırmaları için SPPS Uygulamalı İstatistik. Edge Akademi. [Google Scholar]
  47. Kline, R. B. (2016). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modelling. Guilford publications. [Google Scholar]
  48. Koernig, S. K., & Page, A. L. (2002). What if your dentist looked like tom cruise? Applying the match-up hypothesis to a service encounter. Psychology and Marketing, 19(1), 91–110. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  49. Kucharczyk, Z., Walasek, T. A., & Walasek, D. M. (2011). The Quality of E-Learning – the Servqual Method. In Eugenia Smyrnova-Trybulska (Ed.), Use of E-learning in the Developing of the Key Competences (pp. 317–330). Studio Noa. [Google Scholar]
  50. Law, C. C. H., Zhang, Y., & Gow, J. (2022). Airline service quality, customer satisfaction, and repurchase Intention: Laotian air passengers’ perspective. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 10(2), 741–750. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  51. Lawshe, C. H. (1975). A quantitative approach to content validity. Personnel Psychology, 28(4), 563–575. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  52. Li, Y., Zhang, C., & Laroche, M. (2019). Is beauty a premium? A study of the physical attractiveness effect in service encounters. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 50(May), 215–225. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  53. Liou, J. J. H., Tsai, C. Y., Lin, R. H., & Tzeng, G. H. (2011). A modified VIKOR multiple-criteria decision method for improving domestic airlines service quality. Journal of Air Transport Management, 17(2), 57–61. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  54. Luck, S. J. (2014). An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Techniqu. In MIT press. [Google Scholar]
  55. Luoh, H. F., & Tsaur, S. H. (2009). Physical attractiveness stereotypes and service quality in customer-server encounters. Service Industries Journal, 29(8), 1093–1104. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  56. Maison, D., & Oleksy, T. (2017). Validation of EEG as an Advertising Research Method: Relation Between EEG Reaction Toward Advertising and Attitude Toward Advertised Issue (Related to Political and Ideological Beliefs). In Proceedings of the 2016 computational Methods in Experimental Economics (CMEE) conference. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  57. Marshall, G. W., Stamps, M. B., & Moore, J. N. (1998). Preinterview biases: The impact of race, physical attractiveness, and sales job type on preinterview impressions of sales job applicants. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 18(4), 21–38. [Google Scholar]
  58. Mathew, M., Sahu, S., & Upadhyay, A. K. (2017). Effect of normalization techniques in robot selection using weighted aggregated sum product assessment. International Journal of Innovative Research and Advanced Studies (IJIRAS), 4(2), 59–63. [Google Scholar]
  59. McColl, R., & Truong, Y. (2013). The effects of facial attractiveness and gender on customer evaluations during a Web-video sales encounter. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 33(1), 117–128. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  60. Micu, C. C., Coulter, R. A., & Price, L. L. (2009). How product trial alters the effects of model attractiveness: An adapted etic approach in Romania. Journal of Advertising, 38(2), 69–82. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  61. Miller, A., & Tomarken, A. J. (2001). Task-dependent changes in frontal brain asymmetry: Effects of incentive cues, outcome expectancies, and motor responses. Psychophysiology, 38(3), 500–511. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  62. Miller, R. G. (1969). Simultaneous Statistical Inference. McGraw-Hill. [Google Scholar]
  63. Mobius, M. M., & Rosenblat, T. S. (2006). Why beauty matters. American Economic Review, 96(1), 222–235. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  64. Morrow, P. C. (1990). Physical attractiveness and selection decision making. Journal of Management, 16(1), 45–60. [Google Scholar][CrossRef]
  65. Moya, I., García-Madariaga, J., & Blasco, M.-F. (2020). What can neuromarketing tell us about food packaging? Foods, 9(12), 1–18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  66. Negin, M. (2019). Comparison And Classification Of Recorded EEG Signals During Watching Two And Three Dimensional Videos. [Link]
  67. Ohme, R., Reykowska, D., Wiener, D., & Choromanska, A. (2010). Application of frontal EEG asymmetry to advertising research. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(5), 785–793. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  68. Okumuş, A., & Asil, H. (2007). Examining the effects of perceived service quality on airline passengers’ overall satisfaction level. Istanbul University Journal of The School of Business, 36(2), 7–29. [Google Scholar]
  69. Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research.Journal of Marketing, 49(4), 41–50. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  70. Park, J. W., Robertson, R., & Wu, C. L. (2004). The effect of airline service quality on passengers’ behavioural intentions: A Korean case study. Journal of Air Transport Management, 10(6), 435–439. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  71. Pekkaya, M., & Akıllı, F. (2013). Statistical analysis and evaluation of airline service quality by servperf-servqual scale. The International Journal of Economic and Social Research, 9, 75–96. [Google Scholar]
  72. Pradeep, A. (2010). The buying brain: secrets for selling to the subconscious mind. WileyandSons, Inc. [Google Scholar]
  73. Quaedflieg, C. W. E. M., Smulders, F. T. Y., Meyer, T., Peeters, F., Merckelbach, H., & Smeets, T. (2015). The validity of individual frontal alpha asymmetry EEG neurofeedback. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(1), 33–43. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  74. Rajanen, D., Salminen, M., & Ravaja, N. (2015). Psychophysiological responses to digital media: Frontal EEG alpha asymmetry during newspaper reading on a tablet versus print. ACADEMICMINDTREK 2015 – Proceedings of the 19th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, 155–162. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  75. Ramsoy, T. Z., Skov, M., Christensen, M. K., & Stahlhut, C. (2018). Frontal brain asymmetry and willingness to pay. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12(MAR). [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  76. Ravaja, N., Somervuori, O., & Salminen, M. (2013). Predicting purchase decision: The role of hemispheric asymmetry over the frontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 6(1), 1–13. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  77. Shah, F. T., Syed, Z., Imam, A., & Raza, A. (2020). The impact of airline service quality on passengers’ behavioral intentions using passenger satisfaction as a mediator. Journal of Air Transport Management, 85(April), 1–12. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  78. Shan, X., Yang, E. H., Zhou, J., & Chang, V. W. C. (2018). Human-building interaction under various indoor temperatures through neural-signal electroencephalogram (EEG) methods. Building and Environment, 129(October 2017), 46–53. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  79. Soderlund, M., & Julander, C. R. (2009). Physical attractiveness of the service worker in the moment of truth and its effects on customer satisfaction. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 16(3), 216–226. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  80. Song, H. J., Ruan, W., & Park, Y. (2019). Effects of service quality, corporate image, and customer trust on the corporate reputation of airlines. Sustainability (Switzerland), 11(12). [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  81. Sundaram, D. S., & Webster, C. (2000). The role of nonverbal communication in service encounters. Journal of Services Marketing14(5), 378-391. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  82. Tian, K. T., Bearden, W. O., & Hunter, G. L. (2001). Consumers’ need for uniqueness: Scale development and validation. Journal of Consumer Research, 28(1), 50–66. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  83. Tolgay, B., Maldonato, M., Vogel, C., Cordasco, G., Trojano, L., & Esposito, A. (2020). Frontal left alpha activity as an indicator of willingness to interact with virtual agents: A pilot study. 11th IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Infocommunications, CogInfoCom 2020 – Proceedings, Vc, 185–190. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  84. Touchette, B., & Lee, S. E. (2017). Measuring neural responses to apparel product attractiveness: An application of frontal asymmetry theory. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 35(1), 3–15. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  85. Triphati, S., & Rai, A. (2019). Consumer Behavior on Social Media Marketing. Walnut Pablication. [Google Scholar]
  86. Underwood, J. J., & Gartstein, M. A. (2022). Investigating the links between parent–child interactions and context-specific electroencephalography asymmetry: Neurophysiology behind a frustrating task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 218, 105375. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  87. Uzir, M. U. H., Al Halbusi, H., Thurasamy, R., Thiam Hock, R. L., Aljaberi, M. A., Hasan, N., & Hamid, M. (2021). The effects of service quality, perceived value and trust in home delivery service personnel on customer satisfaction: Evidence from a developing country. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 63, 102721. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  88. Vecchiato, G., Toppi, J., Astolfi, L., De Vico Fallani, F., Cincotti, F., Mattia, D., Bez, F., & Babiloni, F. (2011). Spectral EEG frontal asymmetries correlate with the experienced pleasantness of TV commercial advertisements. Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, 49(5), 579–583. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  89. Vincent, K. M., Xie, W., & Nelson, C. A. (2021). Using different methods for calculating frontal alpha asymmetry to study its development from infancy to 3 years of age in a large longitudinal sample. Developmental Psychobiology, 63(6), 1–14. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  90. Wan, L. C., & Wyer, R. S. (2015). Consumer reactions to attractive service providers: Approach or avoid? Journal of Consumer Research, 42(4), 578–595. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  91. Yi, Y., & Gong, T. (2013). Customer value cocreation behavior: Scale development and validation. Journal of Business Research, 66(9), 1279–1284. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  92. Yıldız, O., & Erdil, T. S. (2013). Comparative measuring of service quality in the passenger carriage of Turkish Airlines industry. Oneri, 10(39), 89–100. [Google Scholar]
  93. Yucel, M. (2013). The measurement of total service quality by servqual analysis: a research in banking sector services. Electronic Journal of Social Sciences, 12(44), 82–106. [Google Scholar]

View articles in other formats



Copyright (c) 2024 The Author(s).

Published by Sumy State University