Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the most attractive personality of them all?
Studies by Monmouth and Lund University researchers suggest that personality is preferred instead of beauty
It goes without saying that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. But what exactly comprises a person's definition of beauty, or in more general terms, attractiveness?
Physical appearance unsurprisingly plays a role in determining a person's level of attractiveness. Recent studies, however, have shown that personality also significantly influences perceived attractiveness. These studies reveal that by having appealing personality traits, a person will become more attractive to others regardless of looks. In a study conducted by professors at Monmouth University in New Jersey , researchers tested the influence of personality information on judgments of physical attractiveness. During the study, subjects were told to assess photos first based solely on physical looks, said Gary Lewandowski, assistant professor at Monmouth University and one of the researchers who conducted the study. The photos were then associated with specific personality traits, and the subjects were again asked to assess them.
"Personality matters because it is an indication of how good a friend they would be," Lewandowski said. "A better friend would make them more likely to date, and thus possibly find attractive." First-year Engineering student Cam Butler said he believes the study is accurate. He said personality is the most important factor for him when interacting with girls and entering relationships.\n"If I find a girl's personality more appealing, she would just be more beautiful to me," Butler said. "If I was more interested in them as a dating partner, I'd always be friends with them first. That's the easiest way to build a substantial relationship."
At Lund University , psychology professors performed a study that tested how memory retention relates to physical attractiveness. During the study, participants could more easily remember persons who possessed favorable personality traits and were physically attractive. Participants could also easily remember persons who were unattractive but paired with unfavorable traits. It was more difficult for participants to remember people who were physically unattractive with favorable personality traits or physically attractive with unfavorable personality traits. The study further indicated personality has the potential to increase or decrease one's level of physical appeal.
"You can take care of your appearance, but being a better person would make you more attractive," Lewandowski said. "Maybe you don't need plastic surgery, maybe you just need to be a better person"