Perceptions of similarly and dissimilarly attractive couples and individuals

Daniel Bar-Tal*, Leonard Saxe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conducted 2 experiments, each with 64 male and 64 female undergraduates, to investigate the implications of the generalized physical attractiveness stereotype. In Exp I, Ss evaluated photographs of ostensibly married couples who were either similar or dissimilar in their level of physical attractiveness. In Exp II the same stimulus persons were presented as unassociated individuals. Results of Exp I indicate that physical attractiveness is differentially important for the perception of male and female spouses. Female spouses were evaluated independently of their husband's level of physical attractiveness on most scales, whereas the evaluation of male spouses (especially unattractive males paired with attractive females) was related to the female's level of attractiveness on a number of dependent variables. Results of Exp II confirm the existence of the positive stereotype of physically attractive individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-781
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1976


  • perceptions of similarly vs dissimilarly physically attractive couples vs individuals, college students


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