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Do attractive people have any advantages? Are they treated better than less attractive? Is it important to look good on an application photo? According to our investigations the answer to these questions is yes. We could show that people are perceived more positively the more attractive they are. 
In order to examine this hypothesis we presented a range of different faces (unattractive, average attractive and attractive ones) to test subjects and asked to judge the person shown with respect to the following personality items: 

A selection of the faces that have been presented: 

Attractive female faces: 

Unattractive female faces: 


Attractive male faces: 

Unattractive male faces: 

All faces do not exist in reality. They were created by using morphing software. Nevertheless, most of the test subjects have no problem to attribute certain personality characteristics to them.

The results are alarmingly clear. We found an enormously influencing attractiveness-stereotype: The more attractive the presented faces were, the more successful, content, friendly, intelligent, socialble, accessible, exciting, creative and busy the persons were estimated. The opposite applies to unattractive faces: The more unattractive the faces were the more negative characteristics were attributed to the person. 
The correlation between attractivity and positive personality characteristics is very high (correlation coefficients between 0.70 and 0.90; for details see report!). Earlier investigations could not find such strong effects. This is - contrary to other investigations - due to standardised conditions that we established in our experiments. We kept interfering factors, such as clothing, smiling, hair-style, jewelry, lighting effects or changing background consistent so that the only stimulus to be judged is the (more or less attractive) face itself. 
A small comfort for all who are not so happy with their appearance: Those factors that we suppressed deliberately in our experimental design play an important role in everyday life. And it is possible to counter a bad impression by having the correct outfit. Nevertheless: It remains that beautiful people have an enormous advantage. Especially in situations where a good first impression is decisive, beautiful people benefit from their attractivity. And this is just because we are trapped by the simple false conclusion: "what is beautiful is also good". 



Last modified: 17-02-2006, Webmaster
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