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

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Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: The presence of an attractive woman elevates testosterone and physical risk taking in young men.

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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


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