, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 195-204

Is beauty talent? Sex interaction in the attractiveness halo effect

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Two experiments were performed to replicate and extend previous findings of judgmental bias which favors physically attractive people. In the first experiment male and female subjects judged an essay purportedly written by an attractive or an unattractive female author. The attractive author was rated as significantly more talented by male judges. Female judges rated the attractive author as less talented, although this difference was not statistically significant. A second experiment concerned ratings by males and females of essays written by attractive or unattractive male authors. The results suggested that the attractiveness halo effect does not occur for male authors.

A similar version of this article was presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Los Angeles, April 1976. Thanks are due to Jan Ault, Lynn Barrett, Paul Leathem, Mike Orenich, Bill Starns, and Meg Wiedlin for their participation in various stages of the research.