Attractiveness Paper

Attractiveness Paper - Growing up in a time that places...

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Growing up in a time that places such emphasis on how one looks and presents oneself, I was interested to see how the physical attractiveness of males and females would effect various situations. It became apparent to me that those individuals who were deemed attractive by the standards set in the world today walked with a higher sense of confidence and, as a result, seemed to perform better in everyday tasks. As the older sister to a sixteen year old, I witnessed constant levels of doubt and inability to perform simply because my sister did not feel adequate compared to her fellow classmates. So I began to wonder, does the level of attractiveness dictate how people act and treat us for the rest of our lives? To gain further knowledge on my subject of interest, I turned to three recently published articles from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and one article published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The first article I looked at was titled “Sexually Selective Cognition: Beauty Captures the Mind of the Beholder” by Maner, Kenrick, Becker, Delton, Hofer, Wilbur and Neuberg. The study hypothesizes that “because physical attractiveness is highly valued in mating-related contexts, and because it is an easily and rapidly recognizable stimulus characteristic, that people may selectively process physically attractive individuals at early and later stages of cognition” (Maner, Kenrick, Becker, Delton, Hofer, Wilbur and Neuberg. 2003). During the first section of the study, the experimenters speculated the occurrence of what they called “opposite-sexed beauty captures the mind”. The researchers believed that men and women would selectively focus on highly attractive members of the opposite sex. Male evolutionary patterns indicate men will prefer fertile partners that can successfully produce offspring to continue the male’s genes. Women would then also look for physically attractive males in hopes to produce a son that would attract particular women and thus have a higher chance to gain access to more mates (Maner et al, 2003). The author also suggests that, based on the theory of parental investment,
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because men have a lower lever of initial parental investment that they have somewhat lower standards when choosing mates (Maner et al, 2003). One final belief that was proposed by the creators of this experiment focuses on the “female beauty captures the mind” hypothesis. The authors believe that both men and women observers will focus more on the female physical features such as eyes, lips, waist and hips. Women will focus their attention on the characteristics because they might “asses their own attractiveness relative to the other women and guard against direct relationship threats posed by those competitors” (Maner et al, 2003). Also before conducting the experiment, the researchers expected that women in a committed relationship may show more bias when overestimating the attractiveness of other women. When the study began, a wide range of students were shown one set of male and one set
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Attractiveness Paper - Growing up in a time that places...

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