Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior

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"Whereas less attractive people are willing to accept less attractive others as dating partners, they do not delude themselves into thinking that these less attractive others are, in fact, physically attractive," they write in the journal article.Looks can be overrated To understand how the physically-lacking individuals cope with the cards they were dealt, the researchers conducted a speed-dating study.They focused on a 10-day period in August 2005 to figure out how an individual's attractiveness rating affected how that person rated others' physical attractiveness on a scale from 1 to the hottest value of 10.Then, the researchers compared the average hot-or-not ratings for each person with the number of dating requests.

The participants then chatted for four minutes with each potential date, after which they rated each other on physical attractiveness and decided whether to meet up again with that person.

"Beautiful people marry beautiful people and less beautiful people marry less beautiful people," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management.

But that doesn't mean less-attractive people are destined to lives of unrequited love and feelings of just settling for the mediocre.

The study results, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal , suggest people who lack looks place more stock in non-physical features, such as sense of humor, than in physical beauty.

Guys, however, are less concerned with their own looks when deciding whom to date, the findings suggest.

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