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Strangers in a Strange LabHow Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters with Others$
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William Ickes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372953

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.001.0001

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Physical Attractiveness

Physical Attractiveness

Chapter:
(p.87) 6 Physical Attractiveness
Source:
Strangers in a Strange Lab
Author(s):

William Ickes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.003.0006

Among the factors that contribute to perceptions that a face is physically attractive are its overall proportion, its “averageness”/prototypically, and the presence of features which — for one's gender — are ideally sized in relation to each other. Being physically attractive in our culture confers many advantages, including greater popularity with peers, greater desirability as a dating partner, and preferential treatment in hiring, salary, and court decisions. In initial, mixed-sex interactions, women's physical attractiveness has a strong and pervasive positive impact. Men's physical attractiveness has an impact too, affecting how positive and intimate these interactions are. In general, people appear to disclose more to physically attractive opposite-sex strangers than to physically unattractive ones.

Keywords:   physical attractiveness, facial proportions, facial averageness, prototypicality, ideal facial feature size, advantages of physical attractiveness, mixed-sex interactions, self-disclosure

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