Similarity and Attractiveness in Social Perception: Differentiating Between Biases for the Self and the Beautiful

ROBERT S. HORTON
2003 Self and Identity  
An impressive empirical literature suggests that physical attractiveness is associated with interpersonal attraction and with specific personality traits, some of which are favorable and many of which are objectively unrelated to attractiveness. Interestingly, much of the research investigating the impact of attractiveness on liking and personality inference has not accounted for the role of the self in social perception. In this project I investigated the possibility that perceptual similarity
more » ... between the self and target contributes to differential judgments of attractive and unattractive individuals. Participants completed self-ratings of physical attractiveness and evaluated a target who was high, medium, or low in physical attractiveness. As expected, participants rated themselves as relatively attractive and as similar on attractiveness to attractive targets. Target evaluations varied as a function of target attractiveness; however, self-ratings on attractiveness moderated the impact of target attractiveness on liking for and personality inferences about the target. Attractiveness similarity also completely mediated the effect of target attractiveness on liking. The findings are discussed with regard to implicit personality theory and implicit egotism.
doi:10.1080/15298860309033 fatcat:cxeldqs3vjfrrextwjqse4q36q