Psychology research by BHSU professor, graduate published in national journal

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, March 30, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant professor of psychology at BHSU, recently published a study in the North American Journal of Psychology co-authored with a student on the effect of clothing and payment method on a server&rsquos tips.






           Danielle Malone, a BHSU graduate, presented her research with Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ithaca, NY. The research was recently published in the North American Journal of Psychology.



Many students work part-time during college, but few turn their part-time jobs into research experiments. One such study by a student-faculty duo at Black Hills State University was recently published in the North American Journal of Psychology.  

According to Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, co-author and assistant professor of psychology at BHSU, a student in his Research Methods course wondered whether the clothes impacted the tips she received at her bartending job.

"I ask the students to find something interesting that they&rsquore passionate or curious about to conduct an experiment," said Karagiorgakis.  "It makes the assignment more meaningful to the student if they choose to examine something they&rsquore interested in."  

The student, Danielle Malone, Class of &rsquo12, collected data on the amount of tips she received and the clothes she wore throughout several shifts. When Malone reviewed the data in class, Karagiorgakis knew the results warranted a larger experiment.

"We conducted the experiment in a more formal manner and looked at additional variables. The results showed, as we expected, that less clothing led to larger tips, but only from patrons who paid in cash. The tips from those who paid by credit card were not affected by the bartender&rsquos clothing type," said Karagiorgakis.

According to Karagiorgakis and Malone, researchers have studied variables that positively affect tipping behavior in a restaurant or bar such as touch, messages of gratitude from a server on receipts, or giving candy along with a bill.  But this is the first study to publish results on the effect of clothing on tips.

"This study originated through a student idea as a result of the classroom experience. The research started right here, in Spearfish, in the community. We thank Zac Zandstra, owner of the ZBar, for partnering with us on this study," said Karagiorgakis.

Karagiorgakis said participating in student research is vital to all students, especially those hoping to pursue graduate-level education.

"We want our students here at BHSU to be the best prepared students when they go to graduate school. Research experience helps our students learn to be analytical thinkers and effective problem solvers. Those skills are valuable in any occupation," said Karagiorgakis.

For more information, contact Karagiorgakis at 605-642-6156 or


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