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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beautiful people make better friends

So says Disney.

And villains (i.e., the bad guys, criminals) are usually ugly.

So says a new study of Disney films, watched both by kids and adults.

However, the attractiveness bias precedes film watching. So kids already show a preference for physically attractive people prior to being exposed to Disney films.

From the article:

To conduct the study, the researchers selected Disney films that had at least three human-like characters. A rating instrument used in earlier “beauty as good” research identified the films that were highly biased in terms of their portrayal of the beauty–goodness stereotype, or low in that bias.

After viewing the film, children were shown photographs of other children and asked to state which ones they would most like to be friends with.

“Regardless of which movie was viewed, children expressed a preference for an attractive child as a friend (78 percent) over an unattractive child (22 percent). Thirty-six percent of the sample of children did not show a preference for either target. In no case did the movie type significantly alter friendship choice."

Keep in mind that the kids in the study had already likely seen other Disney movies. Further, they've all been exposed on a daily basis to media images of beauty since birth.

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