The article under review is psychological research about how physical attractiveness affects women and men. It measures marital success and social life based on physical attractiveness. Face, height, and body mass index measure attractiveness in people. According to Jæger, this topic is important to psychologists because the life course of a person is influenced by physical attractiveness.
The study method employed by the author was an observation, and more specifically nonparticipant observation. The researcher excluded himself from the group where he was conducting the experiment. The research used interviews in a concentrated and focused group. In reality, it is impossible to generalize data collected using non-participant observation to the whole population.
The researcher employed randomization to choose the required sample. He interviewed participants in 2004. He noted that 10,317 women and men in their mid-60s at the time of the interview referred to their high school years as the age of attractiveness (Jæger, 2011). The study includes graphs to help visualize and explain how the participants rated attractiveness based on their social life and marital success.
The research incorporates the evolutionary psychology approach to explain the conclusion that attractive people are naturally preferred because they are assumed to be healthy and have a better social life. According to the author, attractive people are linked to positivity, and, subsequently have the ability to facilitate success.
Conclusively, physical attractiveness matters throughout the life of an individual because it affects their thoughts and influences other people’s perceptions of them. For example, a lower mass index and an attractive face for women results in marital success and an economically and socially better life.
I chose this topic because I was wondering why people usually comment on a person’s attractiveness by saying that some person is pretty and regardless of whether they have skills or not, they will get far because of their physical attractiveness. This topic is also related to my research question because it addresses how perceptions of other people influence our social life and success.
I like the study because the researcher has explained the process of measuring data effectively. Also, the research has a clear conclusion. However, the sample is insufficient because it limits the research – the population used is small and from one geographical area only. I would have preferred interviewing participants from a wider geographical area because that way, I would get insights for future research.
Jæger, M. (2011). “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”? Returns to physical attractiveness over the life course. Social Forces, 89(3), 983-1003 [PDF document]. Web.