By Lauren Gerber, published on July 1, 2010 - last reviewed on September 5, 2010
When you walk into a room and scan people's faces, the beautiful ones are likely to seem the most welcoming. This is the beautiful-is-good effect: We tend to perceive attractive people as having desirable interpersonal qualities—sociability, warmth, trustworthiness, and kindness. Research indicates the source of the effect: A desire to form close bonds with beautiful people makes us overly optimistic about their receptivity.
"It can give you the courage you need to initiate a relationship," says study coauthor Edward Lemay Jr., of the University of New Hampshire. Perceiving beautiful people as having positive social traits increases confidence that they'll reciprocate a desire to get to know you better. But, he says, studies have shown there is actually not much difference in the socialqualities of attractive and unattractive individuals.
So at your next party, try to be an equal-opportunity chatter.
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