NCBI ROFL: Consequences of negative information on perceptions of facial attractiveness.

By ncbi rofl | April 14, 2011 7:00 pm

“The present study assessed the effect of negative information on perception of attractiveness of smiling and nonsmiling targets by undergraduate men and women. Analysis indicated that smiling faces were rated more attractive than nonsmiling faces, consistent with previous research. There was a significant interaction of participants’ sex and target description, in which women rated smiling faces less attractive after exposure to negative information about the target, but men rated smiling faces more attractive after exposure to negative information. Results are discussed in terms of an affective model of perception of people.”

Bonus excerpt from the text:

“The six negative descriptions for each target consisted of one of the following statements: “Convicted of insider trading on the stock market,” “Commits adultery on a regular basis,” “Alcoholic with anger management issues,” “Addicted to child’s Ritalin medication,” “Addicted to gambling after cashing paycheck,” and “Convicted of petty theft of expensive jewelry.”…

When a negative social or individual stigma was present, women evaluated the targets as less attractive, regardless of facial expression. To a certain extent, this corroborated with the research of Ferree and Smith (1979) and Kowner (1998), but it is only applicable to women. The results reinforce the belief that a pretty face–or even better, a smiling face–is favorably regarded by society’s perceptions of possible attributes, even if the face is labeled with a stigma. And, in some cases, that stigma actually increases one’s attractiveness in the eyes of men.”


Photo: flickr/Zawezome

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Surprise! Men vote for the hotter female candidate.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: I’m a lumberjack, and I’m OK, I smell like pine and get chicks all day!
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: The presence of an attractive woman elevates testosterone and physical risk taking in young men.

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

  • Peter Ellis

    I’m not sure the men will have seen “Commits adultery on a regular basis” as a negative, seeing as it essentially translates as “… so you’re in with a chance”. I wonder whether the interaction with gender is still present if you drop that question out the analysis?

  • Kim Colley

    The key question for me is what gender the targets were. Were they just men, just women, or evenly divided. Previous studies have shown the presence of an attractiveness leniency bias for male participants judging a female target on level of guilt and degree of criminal punishment, whereas women participants have shown no significant bias for either attractive male or female targets.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »