The Relationship between Judged Attraction and Assumed Wealth A Psychological Study
Whether a person is aware of it or not, everywhere they go, they are mentally judging people and creating an opinion about others without necessarily ever even meeting them. These judgments can be based off of simple appearance, or actions, or any other sort of visible aspect of a person. Simply put, humans are judgmental creatures. One of the most common aspects of a person’s life that is judged from outside appearance is wealth. Assumedly, if a person dresses well, they must have money to buy such a wardrobe. Though this is certainly not always the case, people generally assume that what is on the outside is reflected on the inside. In this study, people’s visual interpretation of a person and the person’s assumed wealth will be examined. The participants will be shown pictures of random people of various wealth and asked to judge their monetary net worth. The variables being studied through this experiment are conceived attractiveness and monetary success. The goal of this experiment is to find a correlation between the two.
Many studies concerning this phenomenon have been performed in the past and many books on the subject of attraction have been written. The relationship between physical attractiveness and monetary worth has been an interest for scientists for many years. As long as there has been social class, people through the ages have been judging other’s wealth by their appearance, whether people have been conscious of it or not. These studies have been important because these two variables (attractiveness and wealth) have also been linked to desire and favorability, two of the most unique and profound of human emotions, as will be discussed in the following
In an experiment conducted at Georgia Southern University by researchers Dawson and McIntosh, the relationship between wealth, attractiveness, and desirability was examined (Dawson & McIntosh, 2006). Dawson and McIntosh believed that men looked for physical attractiveness in women, whereas women looked for material resources (wealth) in men. Alternatively, the experimenters predicted that if men and women were less advantageous in these physical and monetary traits, they would compensate with other personal traits, such as personality. Participants to be judged for the experiment were randomly chosen from Yahoo Personals. Members of the opposite sex then rated the attractiveness of the participants and generated adjectives that were believed to describe the participant. For the male participants, it turned out that if they were considered less attractive or wealthy by the raters, their profile would emphasize of other positive personal characteristics. On the other hand, for the females, there was a trending phenomenon that if a profile emphasized greatly on the woman’s physical attractiveness, it concentrated little on other personal characteristics. However, there was no relation between how physically attractive the rater found the participant and what other positive characteristics were used to describe the participant. Dawson and McIntosh (2006) believed that their hypothesis was moderately supported.
The judgments that people make on a person’s physical attractiveness can influence much more than the assumed size of his or hers wallet. These judgments can influence decisions as important as whom to vote for in government elections. This phenomenon was studied by Hart, Ottati, and Krumdick at the University of Alabama and Loyola University. They hypothesized that the more attractive a candidate was, the more memorable their campaign was (Hart, Ottati, & Krumdick, 2011). Hart et. al. (2011), explored this by showing participants photos of potential candidates (all Democrat) along with campaign policies. The photos and information was then removed and the participants were asked to recite all the information that they could remember about each candidate and...
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