Meeting your match: How attractiveness similarity affects approach behavior in mixed-sex dyads

I. van Straaten, R.C.M.E. Engels, C. Finkenauer, R.W. Holland

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    Abstract

    This experimental study investigated approach behavior toward opposite-sex others of similar versus dissimilar physical attractiveness. Furthermore, it tested the moderating effects of sex. Single participants interacted with confederates of high and low attractiveness. Observers rated their behavior in terms of relational investment (i.e., behavioral efforts related to the improvement of interaction fluency, communication of positive interpersonal affect, and positive self-presentation). As expected, men displayed more relational investment behavior if their own physical attractiveness was similar to that of the confederate. For women, no effects of attractiveness similarity on relational investment behavior were found. Results are discussed in the light of positive assortative mating, preferences for physically attractive mates, and sex differences in attraction-related interpersonal behaviors. © 2009 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)685-697
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    Volume35
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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