Beauty and the beast: state anxiety influences males’ attractiveness ratings for attractive female faces
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Although more than 2500 articles published since 1970 deal with facial attractiveness, few have addressed whether characteristics of the beholder might influence such judgments. The present study considers whether misattribution and/or distraction contribute to a hypothesized change in males' ratings of female facial attractiveness when state anxiety is increased. Results obtained were consistent with distraction theory but were also interpretable through an alternative misattribution explanation. Participant relationship status was also found to be a significant predictor of attractiveness ratings and suggested the possibility that relationship status might interact with state anxiety to uniquely influence males’ attractiveness ratings for female faces. Implications and applications of these findings are discussed for clinical, social, and developmental psychology and recommendations given for future research into this and related phenomena.