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Attractive People have Unattractive Traits and Values, Study Shows

Update Date: Oct 16, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

Though parents have instructed kids for years never to "Judge a book by its Cover" it is an inevitable and almost natural compulsion to look at an individual and guess at there personality.

And while a new study published in Psychological Sciences posits that we conclude that attractive people are more social, successful and well-adjusted than their uglier counterparts (which, researchers reveal, follows us to conclude "what is beautiful, is good") researchers question whether or not this is truly the case.

A stereotype that is perpetuated throughout almost every society, we assume that beautiful people are just better off in general. They live better and happier lives and therefore posses personality traits, which describe what people are like, and values, which describe what people consider important,  that allow them to do so.

Experts examined how these traits are related to physical attractiveness and if they can be correlated.

 Researchers recruited 118 university students to serve as "targets" or "judges." The targets completed surveys about their values and their traits. They were then videotaped entering a room, walking around a table looking at the camera, reading a weather forecast, and leaving the room.

Each judge saw a videotape of a different target, chosen at random, and evaluated the target's values and traits and then her attractiveness, along with other physical attributes.

Results supported the researchers hypothesis which assumed that outside observers would perceive attractive women as more likely to have socially desirable personality traits than less attractive women would judge attractive women to be more agreeable, extroverted, conscientious, open to experiences, and emotionally stable than less attractive women.

But (perhaps as no surprise to any reasonable person) targets who were rated as attractive were shown to endorse values of 'self-promotion,' conformity and altogether to be more 'shallow' than their less attractive counterparts the later of whom were more concerned about independence and tolerance. 

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