ERIC Number: ED221269
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Gender and Attractiveness Related to Preschool Peer Interactions.
Smith, Gregory J.
Dion, Berscheid, and Walster (1972) coined the phrase "what is beautiful is good" to describe an apparent stereotype in which attractive individuals are viewed more positively than less attractive individuals on a number of characteristics. The present study was an attempt to understand the ramifications of the "beauty-is-good" stereotype in young children. Specifically, the present research investigated the relationship between attractiveness and preschool social interaction. Forty-two children (23 boys and 19 girls), ranging in age from 33 to 68 months, were observed during free-play for a 5-minute period on 5 separate days, and behavior initiated by and directed toward each child was recorded. Two major categories of behavior were observed: aggressive and prosocial. After the behavioral observations were made, facial photographs of the children were taken. Four of these pictures were placed in front of each child, who was asked to choose the most attractive one. That picture was removed, and the child was asked to choose the most attractive one remaining. This procedure was repeated until all the photographs were rated by each child. Results indicated that attractiveness has a different effect on boys than on girls; while attractive girls received the greatest number of prosocial behaviors directed towards them by their peers, no differential treatment of boys related to attractiveness was found. (MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Facial Features
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (Minneapolis, MN, May 6-8, 1982).