Are You Influenced By Looks?

by jack2 42 Replies latest jw friends

  • jack2

    On Friday night I watched a report by ABC TV's John Stossel (in the normal 20/20 time slot) that dealt with how humans are influenced by looks. It was a re-broadcast, and even though this was the second time I've seen it it was still fascinating.

    To demonstrate whether we are influenced by appearance, several scenarios were set up, involving people considered attractive and those considered more 'plain'. The results were as follows:

    Job interviews - the good looking applicants, male and female, were consistently offered the job, and they were generally treated better during the interview, even by interviewers of the same sex.

    Getting help - an attractive and plain-looking woman were each pretending to be stranded at the side of a road with car trouble. Men stopped to help the attractive one much more often.

    Teaching - to show that these attitudes start very early in life, two teachers, again one attractive and the other not so much so, were set up to teach the same class of youngsters at different times. The children overwhelmingly chose the prettier teacher as being the "better" teacher. Some even said it was because she was pretty that she could teach better.

    Courtroom - two mock trials were set up using the same evidence with two different juries. The better looking guy was acquitted, the not-so-handsome guy was convicted. Obviously, this was the scariest of all the possible implications. One juror even said about the handsome guy: "he didn't look like a criminal".

    At the end of the show, several men of varying height were asked to stand in a "line-up" to be picked as a possible date by several women. The women all chose the taller guys as more desirable, even though the 'resume' that was given to each guy favored the shorter guys by far (one guy was billed as a multi-millionaire). One woman even said that the only way she'd date the short guys was if the other guiys were "murderers". (Makes me glad I'm 5'11"....average height for guys is 5'9" by the way).

    I'd like to get your comment on this, whether you've seen the show or not. Are you influenced by looks? Of course, we all know that as far as dating in concerned, we all want people who we find attractive. But what about other areas of life? And ladies, do short guys really stand no chance? Thanks.

  • cellomould

    Hey Jack,

    That is a good synopsis you have presented. I always like Stossel. It's so funny when he goes one ever recognizes him. This is a guy that has been on TV a long, long time! All he has to do is wear a hat.

    Yep, people certainly are influenced by looks. Qualities are projected onto people. I personally think that people can do very little to change how they are perceived, because of how intimately related to their looks.

    You would expect (from statistics) that ugly people and handsome people would be equally likely to be criminals, for example. But, alas, no. Someone should do a study on that in particular...wait I am sure someone has. It's very related to the mock-jury concept.

    If you are ugly, people like you less (or trust you less) therefore you like yourself and others less. It is certainly not fair.


  • outnfree

    Am I influenced by looks?

    I would like to say no, but I must say yes. I would be more likely to interact with people I find attractive [which is a subjective descriptive]. Attractiveness for me doesn't just include good looks, but must also include good grooming.

    Good thing we are forced to spend time at school and at work with wonderful people who are UNattractive and thus get to value them as well! Otherwise, we might never reach out to know them.

    Awful, isn't it?


  • cellomould

    Okay, check this out! This article confirms that attractive people are statistically more healthy (slightly, when corrected for activity levels). It also gives a good explanation of why people pick attractive mates:

    The present results are consistent with an evolutionary psychological perspective on the link between attractiveness and health. Physical attractiveness, according to this perspective, is not an arbitrary social construction, but instead may provide information about health. Gangestad and Buss (1993) investigated the mate preferences of 29 cultures and found that people living in areas with higher pathogen prevalence value a potential mates physical attractiveness more than do people living in areas with lower pathogen prevalence. Gangestad and Buss (1993) argue that, in areas with higher pathogen prevalence, physical attractiveness may provide more information about the health of a prospective mate than it does in areas with lower pathogen prevalence.

    Facial Attractiveness and Physical Health

    Todd K. Shackelford, Division of SciencePsychology, Florida Atlantic University, Davie, Florida;
    Randy J. Larsen, Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

    Evolution and Human Behavior 20: 7176 (1999)

    1999 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

    655 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010

    1090-5138/99/$see front matter

    This is interesting, eh?


  • abbagail

    Yes, this was a good show, I'd seen it before, too. I LOVE SHORT GUYS (5'7" is PERFECT) because I am 5'0" and 5'7" or 5'8" is just tall enough to be able to look up but not get a crick in my neck (like when I dated and danced with a 5'11 guy). Ever since the 5'11" guy I said I would never date tall guys again.

    Now, I must say, No, I would not want someone who is also 5'0" (that is TOO short).

    Am I influenced by looks? Yes, always as far as a partner, but in other areas of life? Not in girlfriends, as I have had several obese girlfriends in my lifetime.

    Since I've never been on a jury, or been an employer, I do not know if I would have "picked" the better looking person or not.

    Something to think about though!


  • morrisamb

    Thank you Jack 2 for posting this. I wanted to see that segment but missed it. This is one of my favourite topics because I'm amazed how unfortunately the real world judges everything by looks. My sociology professor told our class how he studied how judges treated the poorly dressed and well-groomed accused. In almost all cases, the well-dressed were treated better.

    But I've been studying people for decades on this point as well. This is one area in which Witnesses probably treat less-good looking people better than society as a whole. On the other hand, they have their own particular twist on this. They encourage their members to be well-groomed (which is external) but downplay their looks. I think of it as the Stepford Wives syndrome. Mass clones who lack individuality. Standing out is not a good thing in that world. I should have seen some of my outfits!!!

    One female Witness proudly bragged that she never died her hair to my mother who did. One Elder spoke from the platform 25 years ago about seeing this young man (20s) walking down the street with disgusting long hair. (He was gorgeous and his mane was in perfect condition). Even as a Witness, I sat there wondering, why is this a negative? Didn't Jesus have long hair?

    I could go on and on....without a doubt the number one thing people have commented on me about is my looks for bad or good...

    I'll give you one good example of what it's like. I interviewed people for a tv program and newspaper. One time I interviewed a homeless person. People commented how I looked in the picture.

    But there's hope ...I'm 6'2" and I've always liked short men! Ha Ha.

  • haujobbz

    Oh yes im definetly one for looks i love em!!!!

    Pamela anderson is my type,big boobs,lovely body,nice lips,mmmmmmmmmmmm

    I dont care about the personality

  • Guest 77
    Guest 77

    Just think, without identifying marks on people it would be difficult to spot them. Take Jimmy Durante, Barbara Streisand, Karl Malden and Clark Gable with his big ears! Ah, big ears and all, he was still a lady's man! How about Errol Flynn? Yes, physical beauty is eye-catching, no question.

    Guest 77

  • minimus

    not on this board!

  • gwyneth

    forgot password--testing!

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