Calvert reviewed the literature on social skills and physical attractiveness and concluded that many ratings of social skill may be confounded by the physical attractiveness of the target individual, possibly due to a general perception that physical attractiveness and social competence are positively correlated. In order to examine the influence of physical attractiveness on social skill ratings, Ss made global ratings of social skill and attractiveness for a confederate whose appearance and behavior had been altered to appear attractive or unattractive and socially skilled or unskilled in an assertiveness and heterosocial vignette. The results indicated that the same skilled behavior was viewed as more competent when performed by an attractive person compared to an unattractive person. Attractiveness had no influence on ratings of generally incompetent behavior. Thus, it appears that physical attractiveness does not compensate for poor interpersonal skills, but a skilled, attractive individual may be judged to have particularly good skills. Implications for the assessment of social skills are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health