Appearance discrimination across various settings


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  • We have all learned that Disney movies and cartoons reinforce how children will react to attractiveness. Movies suggest that the attractive characters will be heroes and princesses: people who should be praised. The unattractive however tend to be evil characters or one’s that we should care less about. But what happens when a HERO is truly unattractive? In Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the hero must deal with emotional setbacks: such as the death of his mother. The deformed hero does not get all that he wants and even sacrifices the girl of his dreams, to a better looking man. This example, provides evidence for Feingold’s (1992) report that there is a significant relationship between attractiveness and measures of mental health. It’s imperative to learn about this stereotype because it will affect many and in some cases can be as severe as tampering with an individuals mental health.
  • The fact that this bias occurs intentionally and unintentionally gives us more reason to view this as a relevant issue and one of importance.
  • Buss, 2003: This notion can be best explained through evolutionary psychology as a consequence of selecting partners based on sexual characteristics as well as indicators of fitness: such as symmetrical features. Indicators of fitness, primarily youth, are attractive for reproductive purposes.Marriage Gradient: Is the tendency for men to marry younger women of lower socioeconomic status and for women to marry older men of higher economic status.Appearance tends to be important throughout marriage. Changes in wife’s appearance has more effect than changes in husbands appearance.
  • Slater held an experiment in which new born babies would look at pictures that were rated low on an attractiveness scale and high on an attractiveness scale. Overall, the babies in this study focused longer on pictures of faces that were rated as most attractive.
  • Marshuetz found that…Darby & Jeffers found that… Legal Contexts: Researchers demonstrated that mock jurors perceived attractive defendants as more trustworthy, likeable, sociable and intelligent when compared to plain looking defendants. In turn, plain looking defendants are more likely to be found guilty than attractive def.
  • 2. THEREFORE… 3.
  • I gathered 10 individuals: 5W/5M to participate in this study. This was a convenience sample because I found my participants in the Library on this campus. Race, income, and other variables were not accounted for and the individuals were not compensated in any way.
  • Importance of two group between subjects design: although there are many advantages to a within groups subject design SUCH AS  less participants, less work and the elimination of individual personality differences that could account for particular results. Important in THIS study that participants do not find out about both conditions!
  • Brief Description: James Nancarrow was suspected to have embezzled up to $100,000. He did not show up to his arraignment due to hospitalization. However a hearing was held through video, without his presence. In the end the Bond was set at $100,000 cash.
  • The Presentation of Pictures (may have been a COUNFOUND): The professionalism of the attractive picture may have had some impact on how the participants answered their questions as well as those who viewed the unattractive man standing near a forest/ Since my pictures were in black and white it may have made participants ignore or disregard the photos – being in color might possibly draw more attention. We are not all white females – adding more races (Blacks, Hispanics) or at the very least adding 2 white female pictures to compare to
  • UNJUST: in terms of how we pick friends, what grades and jobs are in our future, and very importantly how we treat children whether ours or someone elses.Such as marriage, what jobs and grades we get, the friends we have, and how we treat our families.
  • Appearance discrimination across various settings

    1. 1. The Beauty Bias: Appearance Discrimination Used Across Various Settings By: Debbie Gleason
    2. 2. The Good, the Bad, and the Grotesque: Why The Beauty Bias is Important• Attractive: Heroes and Princesses Unattractive: Evil Characters• What happens when the hero is unattractive?Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996
    3. 3. What is the Beauty Bias?•This stereotype refers to the tendency of thinking that people who are physically attractive will also possess other desirable characteristics. -Traits include: being happier, smarter, having more friends, etc. - Can occur on a conscious or subconscious level which adds to why this is important to study
    4. 4. Foundations:• Evolution plays a role in the foundation of this appearance bias.• Despite universally held perceptions of beauty in both sexes, men tend to place significantly higher value on physical appearance in a partner than women do (Buss, 2003)
    5. 5. Foundations Continued…• Newborn babies prefer to look at attractive faces - Alan Slater, 2000 -Research suggests that face recognition is hardwired at birth rather than learned
    6. 6. Consequences of the Beauty Bias• Attractive children are punished less severely: Marshuetz, 2005• The Beauty Bias is present in legal contexts: Darby & Jeffers, 1988
    7. 7. Hypotheses*Participants will attribute positive personality characteristics (morality) to more attractive individuals while attributing negative ones to less attractive individuals.*Participants will most likely think the unattractive person is guilty* Participants will find the necessity of a trial less important in determining guilt for the less attractive person
    8. 8. Participants:The overall study consisted of 120 participants - 10 individuals: 5 Women and 5 Men - Convenience sample: found in library - Other variables were not accounted for - No compensation
    9. 9. Design• Two Group Between Subjects Design -Half received article with attractive picture -Half received article with unattractive picture -Important that participants do not find out about both conditions (pictures) in order to avoid participant expectancy bias or carryover effects.
    10. 10. Materials and Procedure MARQUETTE -- Marquette attorney James Nancarrow was named Tuesday as a suspect in an embezzlement case in Marquette. He is charged with embezzling between $50,000 and $100,000. He was expected to be arraigned in district court Tuesday afternoon, but he did not show up, and the arraignment was postponed until November 1.Nancarrows attorney, Steve Polich, indicated that his client had been hospitalized a Northstar Health System in Iron River. His medical condition was not disclosed. A hearing was held via video conference, however, with a visiting judge out of Chippewa County. Nancarrow was not present for the hearing.Bond was set at $100,000 cash assurety, and Nancarrows attorney indicated that his client had already provided $10,000 cash to the court.
    11. 11. Manipulation: Attractive vs. Unattractive
    12. 12. ResultsGuilt Attractive: (M=2.93, SD=.97) Unattractive: (M=3.33, SD=.93)Necessity of Trial Attractive: (M=3.12, SD=1.3) Unattractive: (M=3.53, SD=1.3)Immorality Attractive: (M=2.50, SD=.98) Unattractive: (M=2.97, SD=1.23)
    13. 13. T Test• Guilt t(118)=2.3 p<.050• Necessity of Trial t(118)=1.68 p<.050• Immorality t(118)=2.3 p<.050
    14. 14. Graph of Results: 43.5 32.5 2 Attractive Unnattractive1.5 10.5 0 Guilt Need for Trial Immorality
    15. 15. Discussion:• Our Predictions were correct• The unattractive person was rated higher on having the negative traits: guilt and immorality• Attractive person was rated lower on negative traits
    16. 16. Strengths & Limitations• Brief Article allowed for participants to become more engaged and less likely to become bored• Pilot testing the level of attractiveness for both conditions• Experimenter Bias• Generalization• Presentation of Pictures (Background/Color)
    17. 17. Fixes:Experimenter Bias: Making the experiment a double procedureGeneralization: If replicated, add more races to the sample or at least add 2 white female pictures as a comparisonPresentation of Pictures: Try to find pictures with similar backgrounds or try making the pictures color instead of black/white
    18. 18. The Big Picture:• Affects each and every one of us - In addition, if the consequences of such a bias are accurate then society is unjust• We must better understand the foundations and possible causes in order to come closer to fixing issues that surround it - Marriage, Jobs, Grades, Friends and Families
    19. 19. Sources:• Buss, David (2003) [1994] (hardcover). The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 57, 58, 60–63.• Marshuetz, Christy, & Olsen, Ingrid R. (2005). Facial Attractiveness is Appraised in a Glance. Emotion, 4, 498-502• Slater, Alan (2000). New Born Infants Prefer Attractive Faces. Infant Behavior and Development Volume 21.2, 345-354