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Consider the characteristics that are often considered desirable in a mate—a sense of humor, intelligence, kindness, understanding, a family orientation, good looks. Mate preferences in the US and Singapore: A cross-cultural test of the mate preference priority model.
Which would you rank as most important in a romantic partner? Research consistently shows that we rank most or all of these traits as more important than good looks (Apostolou, 2011; Apostolou, 2015; Buss et al., 2001; Perilloux et al., 2011). Personality and Individual Differences, 50(2), 291-294.
The distinction between (Li et al., 2011) can help us understand the importance of a moderate level of physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(5), 993–1011.
Physical attractiveness may be so important to us because we associate other positive qualities with a pleasing appearance. Personality and Individual Differences, 87, 190-195. Physical attractiveness stereotyping in cross-cultural perspective: Similarities and differences between Americans and Taiwanese. The importance to males and females of physical attractiveness, earning potential, and expressiveness in initial attraction. doi:10.1007/BF00289173 Thao, H., Overbeek, G., & Engels, R. Louise told me that looks were not that important to her, but that a good sense of humor was a must. While Louise certainly values all of the characteristics I listed above, not once did we say, “This guy seems like he has a great sense of humor,” or, “This man has very kind features.” We only stopped to further investigate the profiles of men who seemed physically attractive.