If you were meeting two people, one of whom was very attractive and the other, so-so, you would tend to pay more attention to the better looking person, according to a new study.
University of British Columbia researchers have said that people pay closer attention to people they find attractive.
Prof. Jeremy Biesanz, UBC Dept. of Psychology, student Lauren Human and undergraduate student Genevieve Lorenzo conducted an experiment involving more than 75 male and female participants.
After each interaction, study participants rated partners on physical attractiveness and five major personality traits - openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
Results indicated that participants identified the "relative ordering" of personality traits of attractive participants more accurately than others.
"If people think Jane is beautiful, and she is very organized and somewhat generous, people will see her as more organized and generous than she actually is," said Biesanz.
"Despite this bias, our study shows that people will also correctly discern the relative ordering of Jane's personality traits - that she is more organized than generous - better than others they find less attractive."
"Not only do we judge books by their covers, we read the ones with beautiful covers much closer than others," he added.
The study is published in the December edition of Psychological Science.