Psychology Report

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Physical Attractiveness & Stereotyping

Psychology Report

Abstract
This study was taken up to inspect the correlation that occurs between the assumptions and opinions individuals have of other people’s appearance. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of appearance on how personality is perceived. A name of a previous researcher that has shown this is Edward Thorndike. He coined the “halo effect” which can be defined as being the influence of a worldwide evaluation of a person and how we perceive their attributes. The hypothesis of this experiment is one tailed. A person who is perceived as being more attractive will have be given positive personality traits, a person who is less attractive. The null hypothesis is that people’s perception of attractiveness will not affect their judgement of that individual’s personality traits. The method that was used was experiment and the design used was independent groups. The Independent Variable is a photograph of a woman with makeup on to make her look more attractive. Whereas, the Dependant Variable is the same photograph of the same woman, however she is made to look unattractive. There were twenty students that took part in this experiment. One group was shown the photograph where the woman was looking attractive and the experimental group got shown the picture where the woman looked unattractive. Both of the groups then had to choose five different personality traits that they thought went with the image they were shown. In total there were five positive traits and five negative traits. The results highlighted that the attractive photograph got a mean rating of 4. Whereas, the unattractive photograph got a mean of 0.8 positive personality traits. Overall, this experimental hypothesis was accepted. The experiment indicated that the attractive picture got a much bigger percentage of positive personality traits than that of the unattractive one Furthermore, the null hypothesis can now be rejected.

Introduction
This experiment investigates if people categorise other people by their appearance. The aim of this experiment is to show whether or not there is any correlation based on the way someone perceives the other by the way they look. The hypothesis of this study is one-tailed. The people who are more attractive are going to have more positive personality traits about them, rather than the person who is unattractive, who will have more negative personality traits about them. The null-hypothesis is individual’s perception of the way other people look will have no effect on those people’s personality traits. The probability of these results will show that there is a correlation with the attractive photograph getting more positive personality traits in comparison to the unattractive one. Furthermore, the negative photograph will get more negative personality traits than that of the attractive one.

The participants used in this experiment will be students from Carnegie College, all of which are older than 16 years of age and younger than 25 years of age. We tested twenty people in total, with ten in an experimental group and the other ten in a controlled group. Some of the participants were tested in their own classrooms and some tested in the dining hall.

Method
Design
The way in which this experiment has been designed will let people have a full perception of one photograph; they will only see one photograph. This will then stop people automatically judging the attractive one over the unattractive photograph. It is only once they have submitted their results that they would then get told that there is other picture. The two variables in this experiment are the photographs. The experimental method was used to establish cause and effect. The independent groups design was used so that each participant was tested with only one condition of the IV. The IV was the images and the conditions of the IV were the attractive and unattractive image....
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