Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover, Revisited: Perceived and Reported Traits and Values of Attractive Women

Lihi Segal-Caspi*, Sonia Roccas, Lilach Sagiv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research has documented a robust stereotype regarding personality attributes related to physical attractiveness (the "what is beautiful is good" stereotype). But do physically attractive women indeed possess particularly attractive inner attributes? Studying traits and values, we investigated two complementary questions: how perceived attractiveness relates to perceived personality, and how it relates to actual personality. First, 118 women reported their traits and values and were videotaped reading the weather forecast. Then, 118 judges rated the traits, values, and attractiveness of the women. As hypothesized, attractiveness correlated with attribution of desirable traits, but not with attribution of values. By contrast, attractiveness correlated with actual values, but not actual traits: Attractiveness correlated with tradition and conformity values (which were contrasted with self-direction values) and with self-enhancement values (which were contrasted with universalism values). Thus, despite the widely accepted "what is beautiful is good" stereotype, our findings suggest that the beautiful strive for conformity rather than independence and for self-promotion rather than tolerance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1112-1116
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • personal values
  • personality
  • physical appearance
  • physical attractiveness
  • social perception

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