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Sex Differences in the Attractiveness Halo Effect in the Online Dating Environment

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Author(s): Bak, M.

Journal: Journal of Business and Media Psychology
ISSN 2191-5814

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Online Dating | Attractiveness Halo Effect | Attractiveness | Sex differences | Attractiveness Halo

ABSTRACT
The following study with 113 participants analyzes the evaluation bias effects that happen when people are confronted with a typical profile of an online dating service that contains a false photo, i.e. a photo that obviously does not portray the profile owner. It is known that profile photos have a great impact how the profile owner is judged. As predicted by the attractiveness halo effect, an attractive photo leads to better evaluations of the displayed person than an unattractive photo. The results of this study show that even if the evaluator knows that the photo does not actually portray the profile owner, he is nevertheless influenced by the perceived attractiveness of the displayed person. But this is only the case for men judging women. Women seem to be more resistant against this automatic evaluation bias. The findings are fully in line with other empirical findings that support an evolutionary perspective, namely that men ascribe a higher value to physical attractiveness in judging women than women do in judging men.
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