Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior
There is a great amount of evidence that Physical Attractiveness (henceforth referred to as PA) plays an important role in first encounters and the formation of impressions ("what is beautiful is good") from the classic studies of Dion, Berscheid, and Walster (1972) to recent ones (e.g.Chen, Shaffer & Wu, 1997), and so it is often tackled by Social Psychology (e.g. In this way, PA has more often been studied in the field of research about attraction (Berscheid & Reis, 1998) or interpersonal perception, but its treatment in the context of research about love is not so common (Sangrador, 1998).Data about perceived physical attractiveness by the interviewee in his/her partner, and some variables relevant to loving relationships, were collected.Results indicate that PAO is the principal factor in sporadic relationships, and influences the manner of falling in love. In addition, PAO is linked both to feelings and thoughts associated with love (intimacy, passion, commitment, idealization) and to satisfaction with the relationship.(1972), to some revisions (Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986), to some meta-analysis (Feingold, 1992), and the more recent works, some of them about differences across cultures (Wheeler & Kim, 1997).
Men ranked looks, on average, as the fourth-most-important trait; women ranked it about sixth.
Hadjistavropoulos & Genest, 1994), PA actually could have a significant role also in loving relationships, as this study will endeavor to show.
In this way, while the majority of the literature restricts PA to the context of PA of an unknown individual (a stranger), in this work the role of the physical attractiveness of the other person -the partner, the loved one- (PAO henceforth) is considered instead.
From many theoretical standpoints (behaviorist, cognitive, socio-biological, psychodynamic, socialization) it is predictable that Physical Attractiveness of the Other person (PAO) is actually more important in the loving relationships than people usually believe.
To verify the working hypotheses derived from this general one, a questionnaire was administered in individual interviews, to a representative sample (n=1949) ofthe Spanish population.
Thus, in the context of reinforcement theories, there is little doubt that "beautiful packaging" improves the final product.