ERIC Number: ED326783
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar-30
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Pre-Adult Appearance-Related Experiences on Young Adults' Personality.
Longo, Laura C.
Reviewers of the physical attractiveness literature have concluded that there is a strong general link between attractiveness and personality with most "good-looking" people having positive personalities and their less well-endowed compatriots possessing relative negative qualities. The attractiveness-personality covariation is often explained, either implicitly or explicitly in terms of a simple self-fulfilling prophecy model. This study tested an alternative framework for the appearance-personality relationship which offers a more comprehensive view of the appearance-related inputs into personality development. In the first session of the study the subject's physical attractiveness was unobtrusively assessed by four raters, and subjects (N=243) completed an omnibus personality inventory. In the second session personal history data were collected from a subset of 32 extremely attractive and 32 extremely unattractive females. The data revealed that the looks-generated self-fulfilling prophecy provided an insufficient account of how personality is shaped by appearance. The key predictor suggested by the model did not account for a significant amount of variation in personality. In contrast, the more general and explicit model of the attractiveness-personality relationship revealed that a combination of three types of life experiences accounted for a substantial proportion of the variability in the social participation dependent measure. Further analyses suggests that the best causal model for explaining the looks-personality relationship, however, involves the independent, non-redundant contributions of physical attractiveness and only one of the three general learning mechanisms, appearance-related self-guided activities. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (61st, Philadelphia, PA, March 29-April 1, 1990).