The role of physical attractiveness in the observation of adult-child interactions: Eye of the beholder or behavioral reality?

Jean M. Ritter, Judith H. Langlois
1988 Developmental Psychology  
The susceptibility of observations of adult-child interactions to bias due to the physical attractiveness of target persons was examined. Facial features of target persons were occluded in one version of a videotape and unoccluded in another, otherwise identical version. Using a global rating system and a molecular coding strategy, 38 trained observers coded occluded and unoccluded versions of four videotapes, two of which were of attractive targets and two of unattractive targets. Findings
more » ... cated that the observers were significantly and favorably biased toward attractive women, when making global judgments about behavioral interactions. No bias was obtained, however, when observers used a molecular coding strategy. The results demonstrate the need to be cautious about employing and interpreting global ratings and suggest that molecular coding techniques may insulate observers from bias due to the attractiveness of the observed person. (Author/RH)
doi:10.1037/0012-1649.24.2.254 fatcat:6ltnrsrepfbxngzh574jvyqjrm