Beauty and Goodness (03-15-22)

He and teammates link goodness and facial attractiveness;  it is possible that their findings can be applied more broadly.  The team report that “A well-documented ‘beauty is good’ stereotype is expressed in the expectation that physically attractive people have more positive characteristics. Recent evidence has also found that unattractive faces are associated with negative character inferences. . . This study tested the hypothesis that complementary ‘good is beautiful” and “bad is ugly” stereotypes bias aesthetic judgments. . . . this . . . study examined whether moral character influences perceptions of attractiveness for different ages and sexes of faces. Compared to faces paired with nonmoral vignettes, those paired with prosocial vignettes were rated significantly more attractive, confident, and friendlier. The opposite pattern characterized faces paired with antisocial vignettes. . . . Moral transgressions affected attractiveness more negatively for younger than older faces. Sex-related differences were not detected. These results suggest information about moral character affects our judgments about facial attractiveness. Better (worse) people are considered more (less) attractive.”

Dexlan He, Clifford Workman, Xianyou He, and Anjan Chatterjee.  “What Is Good Is Beautiful (And What Isn’t, Isn’t):  How Moral Character Affects Perceived Facial Attractiveness.”  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and The Arts, in press,