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View Attractive Female(s)

Beauty As A Social Problem. Perception of attractiveness level of subsequent images of females. View Attractive Female(s). Down Contrast Effect Adaptation Level (Helson) Frame of reference is affected by our past experience. Up Outside relevant universe

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View Attractive Female(s)

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  1. Beauty As A Social Problem Perception of attractiveness level of subsequent images of females View Attractive Female(s) • Down • Contrast Effect • Adaptation Level (Helson) Frame of reference is affected by our past experience • Up • Outside relevant universe • Association of average female with attractive image (reinforcing effect)

  2. Media Impact What images are most common on prime-time TV? Young, attractive, wealthy

  3. Study 1: Procedure and Results? Charlie’s Angels Viewers Mean = 3.4 Control Groups Mean = 4.0

  4. Study 2: Procedure and Results? Experimental Group (viewed picture of attractive female) Control Group (no picture viewed) Mean = 4.4 Mean = 3.5 Higher scores indicates less attractiveness!!!

  5. Study 3: Procedure and Results? Role of Informational Social Influence (confederate comments) Comments were negative for the average pictures for those seeing the highly attractive photos (“what a dog”) and positive for those seeing the prior unattractive pictures (“You can set me up with her”) Average Pics

  6. Idealized Female Body Image Effects • Low self-esteem (Texas Social • Behavior Inventory) • Greater self-consciousness (SCS) • Greater physique anxiety (Social • Physique Anxiety Scale) • High potential for eating disorders • (Eating Disorder Inventory) High Attractiveness Ideal (Importance of Appearance Scale) Thornton, B., & Maurice, J. (1997). Physique contrast effect: Adverse impact of idealized body image for women. Sex Roles, 37, 433-439.

  7. Overall Implications?

  8. Consequences of Being Physically Attractive What is Beautiful is Good Procedure and Results?

  9. Physical Attractiveness Summary • Advantages: • Greater overall liking (bestpredictor of desire to date) • More desirable character traits (e.g., sensitive, warm, intelligent) • Higher income • Higher evaluation of work performance • More lenient treatment in the legal system • Better mental health • Matching Often different in physical attraction Short Length of relationship Couple is equal in physical attraction Long

  10. Attractiveness as a Business • In 2002, 6.9 million spent on cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures in the U.S. --- a 22% increase from 1997 (American Society for Plastic Surgery, 2003) • Most common procedure (Botox injections) was performed 1.6 million times in 2002 • Across the world, the cosmetic industry makes 20 billion/year • Nearly 1 million adults wear braces (mostly to improves smiles) • 35 billion is spent on weight loss programs, diet foods, and health club membership per year in the U.S.

  11. Attractive photo Positive Mood Average photo High Low Opposite-Sex Photos Same-Sex Photos (Kenrick et al., 1993)

  12. Romantically linked Impression of man Strangers 7.5 7.0 6.5 6.0 5.5 5.0 7.1 6.1 5.9 5.5 Low High Female’s attractiveness

  13. Eating Lightly and Self-Presentation • Basic Premise: People are motivated to behave in ways to enhance their image • Females have greater number of eating disorders and dieting than males (emphasis on thin as attractive) “Undesirable” Male Equal intake of candy by males and females “Desirable” Male • Females ate significantly less food when interacting with a desirable male (Mori, et al., 1987)

  14. Gender and the Personal Columns Males Females Offer Seek Offer Seek Money Job information Personality traits (e.g., sincerity) Money Status Career Young Physically attractive Physical attractiveness (Deaux & Hanna, 1984)

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