SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw
Institute of Psychology, University of Lodz
The present study addresses the role of physical attractiveness in the social induction of affect. Drawing on the literature showing that physical attractiveness is related to liking, we argue that, compared to physically unattractive individuals, physically attractive individuals will be liked more and thus participants exposed to them will catch their affective states more easily. We confirmed this prediction in the sample of 246 high school students but only when participants were exposed to the pictures of happy models. Exposure to sad models, contrary to our predictions, led to a decrease in affect regardless of the models’ physical attractiveness. Although physically unattractive models were liked less than physically attractive models, liking was not the mechanism behind the observed effects.
Keywords: physical attractiveness, liking, social induction of affect, affective contagion
Cite this article as:
Królewiak, K., Wróbel, M. (2017). Are smiles of attractive people more contagious? Physical attractiveness moderates affect contagion. Psychologia Społeczna, 43, 397–404. doi: 10.7366/1896180020174303