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Beer goggles? ‘Beauty goggles’ make attractive people seem more confident, clever, and trustworthy.

A recent study demonstrates that attractive people are more likely to be seen as having pleasant qualities, a phenomenon nicknamed “beauty goggles.”

Researchers showed men’s and women’s photographs to 11,000 participants from 45 nations, including the United Kingdom, to assess their perceived attractiveness and personality.

They discovered that those judged attractive in photographs were also perceived as bright, social, and trustworthy, among other good characteristics.

Those deemed unattractive, meanwhile, were related to negative characteristics such as meanness, dissatisfaction, and “weirdness.”

Researchers caution that reflexively perceiving the best in attractive people (wearing “beauty goggles”) can have negative consequences in the real world.

Prior research has demonstrated, for instance, that jurors suggest fewer punishments for more attractive criminals.

Beer goggles? 'beauty goggles' make attractive people seem more confident, clever, and trustworthy.

Dr. Carlota Batres, a psychologist from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, led the new study, which was published in the journal Current Psychology.

She stated, “The results of our study provide evidence for what I term the “beauty goggles” effect, in which appearance blurs personality evaluations.”

The majority of socially desirable personality qualities were positively connected with attractiveness, according to the findings.

Humans can intuitively judge faces on a wide variety of characteristics, including attractiveness, with lightning speed.

According to previous studies, humans can judge faces after only 100 milliseconds of exposure.

Having the ability to recognize attractiveness rapidly may be adaptive because it indicates health and immunological function.

Prior study has demonstrated that physical attractiveness has a favorable “halo effect,” in which people tend to attach good personality attributes to physically attractive persons.

However, the majority of this research has been conducted by exposing western faces to western participants; hence, Dr. Batres wished to expand this to a broader international population.

More than 11,000 individuals from 45 nations were recruited for the study by the Psychological Science Accelerator, a broad cross-cultural network of academics.

The 45 nations included the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and Thailand.

Participants from 45 nations were shown photographs of Black, Latino, White, and Asian men and women, all from the United States.

Participants were allocated randomly to score one of 13 qualities, including attractiveness, aggression, caringness, confidence, dominance, emotional stability, intellect, meanness, responsibility, sociability, trustworthiness, sadness, and weirdness.

The participants graded photographs of sixty men and sixty women of various nationalities.

Dr. Victor Shiramizu, the co-author of the study at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, told, “Each participant scored 120 photographs based on a single attribute.”

Then, we computed the average trait score for each face and ran correlations between the characteristics.

Overall, there was a positive correlation between beauty and all socially desirable personality traits and a negative correlation with all socially undesirable personality traits.

The more attractive male and female faces were assessed as more confident, emotionally secure, clever, responsible, social, and trustworthy.

In other words, people have a tendency to assign favorable personality attributes to physically beautiful individuals.

Therefore, these new findings give compelling evidence that the phenomenon of “beauty goggles” extends across diverse worldwide regions and cultures.

The term ‘beauty goggles’ is a play on the term ‘beer goggles,’ which students frequently use to justify their sexual promiscuity.

The more intoxicated a person is while wearing the metaphorical ‘beer goggles,’ the less apparent the distinction between perceived attractiveness and unattractiveness becomes.

Prior research has demonstrated the existence of beer goggles; in 2020, specialists discovered that intoxicated individuals are equally distracted by handsome and unattractive persons.

Previous research on beer goggles generated inconclusive results and was primarily limited to asking individuals how attractive they find others to be.


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