Physical Attractiveness and the “Nice Guy Paradox”: Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
The nice guy stereotype asserts that, although women often say that they wish to date kind, sensitive men, when actually given a choice, women will reject nice men in favor of men with other salient characteristics, such as physical attractiveness. To explore this stereotype, two studies were conducted. In Study 1, 48 college women were randomly assigned into experimental conditions in which they read a script that depicted 2 men competing for a date with a woman. The niceness of 1 target man's responses was manipulated across conditions. In Study 2, 194 college women were randomly assigned to conditions in which both the target man's responses and his physical attractiveness were manipulated. Overall results indicated that both niceness and physical attractiveness were positive factors in women's choices and desirability ratings of the target men. Niceness appeared to be the most salient factor when it came to desirability for more serious relationships, whereas physical attractiveness appeared more important in terms of desirability for more casual, sexual relationships.
- Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1974). Physical attractiveness. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 7, pp. 157–215). New York: Academic Press.
- Buss, D., & Angleitner, A. (1989). Mate selection preferences in Germany and the United States. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 1269–1280.
- Buss, D., & Barnes, M. (1986). Preferences in human mate selection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 559–570.
- Doosje, B., Rojahn, K., & Fischer, A. (1999). Partner preferences as a function of gender, age, political orientation and level of education. Sex Roles, 40, 45–60.
- Feingold, A. (1990). Gender differences in effects of physical attractiveness on romantic attraction: A comparison across five research paradigms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 981–993.
- Gallucci, N. (1984). Effects of men's physical attractiveness on interpersonal attraction. Sex Roles, 55, 935–938.
- Goodwin, R. (1990). Sex differences among partner preferences: Are the sexes really very similar? Sex Roles, 23, 501–513.
- Hatfield, E., & Sprecher, S. (1995). Men's and women's preferences in marital partners in the United States, Russia, and Japan. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 26, 728–750.
- Herold, E., & Milhausen, R. (1999). Dating preferences of university women: An analysis of the nice guy stereotype. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 25, 333–343.
- Hollandsworth, S. (1994, October). What you don't know about nice guys. Mademoiselle (pp. 120–123).
- Jensen-Campbell, L., Graziano, W., & West, S. (1995). Dominance, prosocial orientation, and female preferences: Do nice guys really finish last? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 427–440.
- Kinsey, A., Pomeroy, W., & Martin, C. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: Saunders.
- Li, N., Bailey, J., Kenrick, D., & Linsenmeier, J. (2002). The necessities and luxuries of mate preferences: Testing the tradeoffs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 947–955.
- Regan, P. (1998a). Minimum mate selection standards as a function of perceived mate value, relationship context, and gender. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 10,53–73.
- Regan, P. (1998b). What if you can't get what you want? Willingness to compromise ideal mate selection standards as a function of sex, mate value, and relationship context. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1294–1303.
- Regan, P., Levin, L., Sprecher, S., Christopher, F., & Cate, R. (2000). Partner preferences: What characteristics do men and women desire in their short-term and long-term romantic partners? Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 12, 1–21.
- Sadalla, E., Kenrick, D., & Vershure, B. (1987). Dominance and heterosexual attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 730–738.
- Sprecher, S. (1989). The importance to males and females of physical attractiveness, earning potential, and expressiveness in initial attraction. Sex Roles, 21, 591–607.
- Sprecher, S., & Regan, P. (2002). Liking some things (in somepeople) more than others: Partner preferences in romantic relationships and friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19, 463–481.
- Virtual Voyage, Inc. (1999, August). Just ask Sandy: Nice guys finish last. Virtual Voyage Mall. Retrieved January 1, 2003, from http://www.virtualvoyage.com/soapbox/client15/nice5.htm
- Walster, E., Aronson, V., Abrahams, D., & Rottman, L. (1966). Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 508–516.
- Weiderman, M., & Dubois, S. (1998). Evolution and sex differences in preferences for short-term mates: Results from a policy capturing study. Evolution and Human Behavior, 19, 153–170.
- Physical Attractiveness and the “Nice Guy Paradox”: Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?
Volume 49, Issue 9-10 , pp 413-426
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- mate selection
- physical attractiveness
- nice guy
- Industry Sectors