How are attractiveness and dating relationships correlated
All the couples participated in a video-taped interview in which they were asked questions about their relationships, including how long they had known each other before they started dating, and whether or not they had been platonic friends before dating.Independent coders later viewed the video tapes and rated the physical attractiveness of each partner.In other words, the Beast transforms into Brad Pitt when you get to know him.To test these ideas, Hunt and colleagues studied 167 heterosexual couples who were involved in long-term relationships.The tendency to pair with someone who is similar in physical, behavioral, and psychological characteristics is known as assortative mating, and this phenomenon has intrigued experts in psychology, sociology, genetics, and even economics for over a century.While assortative mating is a robust finding, scientists disagree about why it occurs.One popular theory argues a market-based explanation: Individuals compete for the most desirable mates, and those who are themselves very desirable are the most successful in this competition.Highly appealing people thus pair with other very appealing people, while moderately appealing people pair with other fairly appealing people, and so forth.
It may be the case that physical appearance is less important to some people, and that those people choose to wait to cultivate a romantic relationship until they know someone well.
The objective component is immediately obvious, and drives perceptions of physical attractiveness — at least initially.
The subjective component of romantic desirability, on the other hand, derives from characteristics that are revealed over time and may have a more unique appeal, like sense of humor, creativity, loyalty, and moral character.
There is no love at first sight in this story; Beauty, in fact, finds the Beast repulsive.
Over time, however, as Beauty gets to know the Beast, she uncovers his warm nature and her heart softens.
These evaluations were made for both members of a couple at the same time (joint assessments) and for each individual in a couple separately (separate assessments), just to be sure that the attractiveness of one member of a couple did not influence the rating of the partner.