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Physical Beauty & Persuasion

Much of our culture is based on physical attractiveness and its power to persuade, to attract, to influence, and in a real sense to succeed. Our advertising media clearly believe in the power of physical attractiveness to persuade, and spokespersons for products and other people used in television commercials and print ads tend to be physically attractive far beyond the norm in society, apparently based on the belief that we tend to listen more closely to a message delivered by someone who is physically attractive. We are certainly attracted to beauty, though our definition of beauty will differ from person to person and even from context to context. It seems clear then that we would tend to listen to someone who is physically attractive, in essence paying more attention to them than we would to someone who was not physically attractive. It is not as clear that we would be persuaded by beauty instead of by the strength of the message delivered. Those who feel that physical beauty and persuasion go hand in hand are effectively identifying physical beauty itself as persuasive so that the mere presence of physical beauty is an argument in itself. This has been and should be analyzed through social scientific theory, postulating that physical attractiveness will increase persuasive effects, and testing this empirically.

An analysis of the literature shows that this approach has been taken. The method undertaken here is a review of literature to clarify the issues and to ascertain whether the hypothesis has shown promise.

Cialdini discusses the reasons why people are persuaded to take action, and while physical attractiveness is included as one of the reasons for a person's being persuasive, the author notes that recent findings indicate that this is an even greater advantage than it was once believed to be. Attractive people seem to elicit an immediate response from others predisposing these others to accept their messag...

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Physical Beauty & Persuasion. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:56, August 04, 2020, from