In another sign that people tend to judge one another based on physical appearance, a new study claims that women tend to exhibit bias against unattractive men if they “mess up,” while being more forgiving toward attractive men. The researchers, from Eastern Kentucky University, claimed that women perceive men based on how handsome and attractive they are.
The two lead researchers, Jeremy Gibson and Jonathan Gore, studied how a woman's perception of a man is affected by the differing levels of attractiveness in terms of physical appearance and social norms. "Two male faces -- one attractive, the other not -- bearing similar features were paired in two written scenarios. In the one, the man committed a major social no-no, in the other not," the researchers explained.
The study of 170 college-age women revealed that unattractive men earned a “negative double bias” upon violating a social norm. However, handsome men did not earn a negative bias if they broke a social norm or did something wrong.
The researchers believe that the “halo effect” comes into play when women interact with men: Those who possesses good or positive characteristics are forgiven for slip-ups, while those who lack those characteristics are not.
According to Gore and Gibson, unattractive men who provide unusual information on their social profiles are less likely to receive a woman's attention the second time. However, if an attractive man posts the same information, the result will not be the same.
The complete study has been published in the Springer's journal Gender Issues.