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First Impressions of Attractive People Often Correct: Study

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- People generally judge the personalities of attractive people more accurately than those of others, according to a new study.

Canadian researchers had volunteers socialize in groups of five to 11 people. Each person talked with every other person for three minutes. After each chat, the participants rated the other person's physical attractiveness and five major personality traits -- openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Overall, the personalities of people considered physically attractive were rated more accurately. This may be because people are more motivated to pay attention to attractive people, said study co-author Jeremy Biesanz of the University of British Columbia.

"You do judge a book by its cover, but a beautiful book leads you to read it more closely," he said in an Association for Psychological Science news release.

But he noted that this research was about first impressions and may not hold true for people who have known each other for a longer time.

The study is published in the December issue of the journal Psychological Science.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more about personality.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, Dec. 21, 2010

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