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The Bold and the Beautiful: The Effect of Physical Attractiveness and Extraversion on Desirability
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by Katie D. Kirkendall, Deann P. Dixon, Traci A. Giuliano, and Ann E. Raney - Southwestern University
This study explored the effects of extraversion and physical attractiveness on the desirability of a potential dating partner. Thirty-two male college students, recruited for a study ostensibly about perceptions of dating service clients, read several profiles and made judgments about them. We manipulated physical attractiveness of the client (attractive or unattractive) between subjects and manipulated level of extraversion (shy or outgoing) within subjects. Each participant read and made judgments about 2 distracter profiles and 2 profiles relevant to the hypotheses. Participants rated physically attractive women as more desirable and were more interested in dating them compared to unattractive women, regardless of level of extraversion, even though they rated extraverted women as friendlier than shy women. These results are consistent with research suggesting that physical attractiveness, rather than personality, is the most potent factor in determining desirability (Dion, Berscheid, & Walster, 1972).