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Physical Attractiveness and Intellectual Competence: A Meta-Analytic Review

Linda A. Jackson, John E. Hunter and Carole N. Hodge
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 108-122
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2787149
Page Count: 15
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Physical Attractiveness and Intellectual Competence: A Meta-Analytic Review
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Abstract

Meta-analysis was used to test hypotheses about the relationship between physical attractiveness and intellectual competence. In support of status generalization theory and implicit personality theory, attractive people were perceived as more competent than less attractive people. Attractiveness effects were stronger for males than for females, and stronger when explicit information about competence was absent than when it was present, in keeping with status generalization theory. In partial support of status generalization theory and expectancy theory, attractiveness was related to actual competence in children, but not in adults. Direct measures of competence were influenced strongly more by attractiveness than were indirect measures, as predicted by status generalization theory. Implications for theory, organizational policy, and future research are discussed.

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