ERIC Number: ED326784
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Relationship between Looks and Personality: Strong and General or Content Specific?
Longo, Laura C.; Ashmore, Richard D.
Most researchers explain the attractiveness-personality link in terms of a simple self-fulfilling prophecy model: a person's good looks evoke a "Beauty is Good" stereotype that causes positive treatment by others, which, in turn, causes the target to develop a "good personality." An alternative conceptual framework expands on the current implicit model of the relationship between physical beauty and personality by considering the content of the physical attractiveness stereotype. This study assessed the relationship between males' and females' attractiveness and personality traits varying in degree of psychological connectedness to appearance. Subjects included 243 female and 160 male college students. Subjects were rated on physical attractiveness by four raters and responded to a personality characteristics questionnaire. The results indicated that the link between looks and personality was weak and specific. A multicomponented conceptualization of the Beauty is Good stereotype, with content areas differing in strength of inferential relatedness to attractiveness, did not completely account for actual personality differences between individuals of high and low attractiveness. Attractive people scored higher on measures of Social Competence and Achievement, the content domain most strongly inferentially linked to looks. In addition, it was found that physical attractiveness has differential impacts on the development of male and female personalities, with good looking males in particular demonstrating that "What is Beautiful" can also be quite unattractive. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).