Attractiveness- Appraised in Only One Glance?

Topics: Interpersonal attraction, Physical attractiveness, Waist-hip ratio Pages: 17 (5623 words) Published: January 24, 2013
Research Paper
Attractiveness- Appraised in Only One Glance?

There are several factors that influence us in our judgment of who we find attractive. Regarding the physical attractiveness, men and women both pay most attention to the face. Above that, men also take into account a woman´s waist-to-hip-ratio. Interestingly, researchers have found that for men, physical attractiveness has a greater impact on their partner choice than for women. Females are putting more emphasis on other factors such as reliability and socio-economic status. Yet, both genders benefit equally from one phenomenon: Attractive people receive more favorable treatment in hiring and promotion and are rated as smarter, more extroverted and as more socially skilled. Besides these aspects of physical attractiveness that influence us in our behavior towards other people , there are reasons beyond which need to be considered in order to comprehend decision making in partner choice and attractiveness judgment. Three aspects of interpersonal attractiveness will be discussed in this research paper. Propinquity, similarity, and reciprocal liking are part of the field of interpersonal attractiveness, which is thematically integrated in social psychology. According to these three interpersonal effects, we tend to prefer a mate who lives in a close distance, with whom we are sharing the most important opinions and traits and who we know to like us.

1. Physical Attractiveness3
1.1 Attractiveness of faces3
1.2 The waist-to-hip ratio6
1.3 Manipulation of attractiveness9
1.4 Halo-Effect11
1.5 A newborn´s reaction to physical attractiveness11

2.Interpersonal Attractiveness12
2.1 The person next door: Propinquity Effect……………………………………………13 2.2 Similarity Effect13
2.3 Reciprocal Liking15


4. Bibliographical References18

1. Physical Attractiveness

There have been numerous moments in which we have fallen victim to someone´s appealing physical attractiveness. It often happens without awareness. It is a continuous, subconscious part of our daily judgments. We cannot turn it off and we cannot deny that there are faces we like more and faces we like less. Some faces we find appealing, some faces we feel we need to ignore; even a new born reacts differently on certain facial traits. This leads us to the question of why and how we manipulate with make-up and clothing. Does make-up really help us in deceiving other people´s minds?

1.1 Attractiveness of faces

As dictated, attractiveness lies in the eye of the beholder. Can we blindly believe this well known saying, or are there facial structures that people from all over the world and in all cultures perceive as pretty? Many studies show: Beauty is not just dependant on personal, individual preferences. Instead of being a matter of taste, researchers say it is a matter of genetics. According to them, a cultural predominating basis for Beauty-Perception is existent (Müller & Schuster, 2002). We tend to believe a true beauty stands out against the crowd. Yet, Immanuel Kant already knew that simplicity is the key to true beauty: “The average seems to be the basic measurement and foundation of all beauty itself” (Müller & Schuster, 2002, S.207). Sir Francis Galton was the first researcher to explore Kant´s thesis by generating composite-pictures. First, Galton took individual photographs of different people and then integrated them into one single photograph. What he received was perfection; an ideal face that would not exist in real life. Galton presented this ideal photograph together with some real, individual photographs to some test persons who had been instructed to say which they found more attractive. The research showed that the majority thought the ideal face was prettier. Recently this experiment was repeated, only with new methods. Researchers prepared the generated ideal photograph on the computer and again most...

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