What is beautiful is culturally good: The physical attractiveness stereotype has different content in collectivistic cultures

Ladd Wheeler*, Youngmee Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A total of 157 university students in Korea rated photos of other Korean students at three levels of attractiveness on dimensions included in meta-analyses of the physical attractiveness stereotype as shown in North America. Consistent with predictions based on the greater tendency in collectivistic cultures to stress harmonious relationships, participants did not perceive attractive targets as higher in potency, as North American participants do, and did perceive attractive targets as higher in integrity and in concern for others, as North American participants do not. It is argued that all cultures stereotype on the basis of physical attractiveness but that the content of the stereotype depends on cultural values. An explanation for attractiveness stereotyping is offered that is applicable to any culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-800
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume23
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes

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