The objective of this research is to examine the effect of tattoos on the perception of a person within a professional work environment, because the image of tattoos has changed in the last decades. Previously, there were many negative stereotypes present for people with tattoos, but these have made way for an image of art and creativity. Thus, this research provides answers on whether tattoos now fit in the role expectations that come in a professional work environment; if tattoos have an influence on the perception of professionality of a person. Participants from a creative and non-creative work environment, filled in questionnaires with vignette photos included. These give insights on their perception of people depicted in the photos, with and without tattoos. In addition, direct questions are asked on the participants perception of tattoos. Also, the influence of the type of work environment of the participant, of the age of the participant and of the gender of the perceived people are researched, for the perception of tattoos. The analysis gave the following results. The type of work environment has no influence on the perception of tattoos, regarding professionality. But overall, the participants from the creative work environment are more critical regarding the perception of professionality. Also, the gender of the perceived person does not have an influence on the perception of tattoos as professional, but it does have an influence on the perception of tattoos as creative. Women with tattoos are perceived as more creative than men with and without tattoos. Overall, the perception of tattoos in a professional work environment is rather accepting. It seems to be the case that tattoos do not influence the expectations of a person to behave professionally. However, for people with tattoos, there are overall more expectations to be creative, but also to take their job less seriously, which are specific aspects of professionality. This shows, that the creative image of tattoos is present in the role expectations of people with tattoos, and that the previous, more negative image does not influence the perception of the professionality of people with tattoos.

Additional Metadata
Keywords kunstwetenschappen, cultuurwetenschappen, Tattoos, Perception, Professionality, Creativity, Work environment
Thesis Advisor M. Berghman
Persistent URL
Series Master Arts, Culture & Society
K. Scholten. (2019, June 14). Tattoo perception in the professional work environment. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from