Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Beauty and Goodness

Is there a correlation between "beauty" and "goodness".

Specifically, there are two obvious questions:
(1) In general, Are Beautiful people good? (More "good" than people who are not perceived beautiful)
(2) Do people, in general, think that beautiful people are good?

It is important to observe the subtle difference between the two questions. While the first question concerns a truism about beauty and goodness, the second question merely asks if people, in fact, have stereotyped
notions of the personality traits possessed by individuals of varying attractiveness. In this sense, the second question is more well defined and seems simpler to find out.

It is precisely the second question that Dion et al. sought to answer in their work titled, What is beautiful is good. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

I have quoted the abstract of their work. You can get the full paper by doing a google or scholar search. It is short and interesting.

A person's physical appearance, along with his sexual identity, is the personal
characteristic that is most obvious and accessible to others in social interaction.
The present experiment was designed to determine whether physically
attractive stimulus persons, both male and female, are (a) assumed to possess
more socially desirable personality traits than physically unattractive stimulus
persons and (6) expected to lead better lives (e.g., be more competent
husbands and wives, be more successful occupationally, etc.) than unattractive
stimulus persons.
The present results indicate a "what is beautiful is good" stereotype along the physical attractiveness dimension.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Extroversion and I

Wikipedia has a great definition of extroversion - of the 'hit-the-nail-on-the-head' kind.

Extroversion is "the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self"

I have been always confused about my levels of extroversion. Recently, I was reading about the 'big 5 personality traits' and took the associated test for fun. I was slightly suprised to find that I was as extroverted as the average person.

Then the definition of extroversion really gave me some clarity. I now realise that I always was, and probably "knew" that I was, as extroverted as the average person. But the problem was , I never wanted to be a person who seeks gratification from the outside - It didn'nt make sense to me to be seeking gratification from the outside (even now it does not make sense).

But ofcourse there is (and has to be, otherwise there is no reason to exist) a gap between what we are and what we want to be.

Anyway, I am currently in a state where I have reconciled myself to my extroversion.

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