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Understanding the physical attractiveness literature: Qualitative reviews versus meta-analysis

  • Alan Feingold (a1)

Abstract

The target article is a qualitative review of selected findings in the physical attractiveness literature. This commentary explains why the meta-analytic approach, frequently used by other attractiveness reviewers, is preferable for drawing unbiased conclusions about the effects of attractiveness. The article's main contribution is affording a foundation for subsequent meta-analysis of the studies discussed in a subjective fashion.

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Berscheid, E. & Walster, E. (1974) Physical attractiveness. In: Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 7, ed. Berkowilz, L., pp. 157216. Academic Press.
Cumming, G. (2013) Understanding the new statistics: Effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta-analysis. Routledge.
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Eagly, H., Ashmore, R. D., Makhijani, M. G. & Longo, L. C. (1991) What is beautiful is good, but…: A meta-analytic review of research on the physical attractiveness stereotype. Psychological Bulletin 110:109–28.
Feingold, A. (1988) Matching for attractiveness in romantic partners and same-sex friends: A meta-analysis and theoretical critique. Psychological Bulletin 104:226–35.
Feingold, A. (1990) Gender differences in effects of physical attractiveness on romantic attraction: A comparison across five research paradigms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 59:981–93.
Feingold, A. (1992a) Good-looking people are not what we think. Psychological Bulletin 111:304–41.
Feingold, A. (2015) Confidence interval estimation for standardized effect sizes in multilevel and latent growth modeling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 83:157–68.
Hosoda, M., Stone-Romero, E. F. & Coats, G. (2003) The effects of physical attractiveness on job-related outcomes: A meta-analysis of experimental studies. Personnel Psychology 56:431–62.
Jackson, L. A., Hunter, J. & Hodge, C. (1995) Physical attractiveness and intellectual competence: A meta-analytic review. Social Psychology Quarterly 58:108–22.
Langlois, J. H., Kalakanis, L., Rubenstein, A. J., Larson, A., Hallam, M. & Smoot, M. (2000) Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin 126(3):390423.
Mazzella, R. & Feingold, A. (1994) The effects of physical attractiveness, race, socioeconomic status, and gender of defendants and victims on judgments of mock jurors: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 24:1315–44.

Understanding the physical attractiveness literature: Qualitative reviews versus meta-analysis

  • Alan Feingold (a1)

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