New study investigates the question, to what extent is our personality an adaptation to our appearance or even our physique. The findings of the study are published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.
Previous theories of a possible connection between appearance and behavior claim, among other things, that physically stronger men tend to be more aggressive and physically more attractive women are more outgoing.
For the most part, the research team from the Department of Biological Personality Psychology at the University of Göttingen found evidence to contradict these theories. Their research involved two independent groups of subjects from Göttingen in Germany and Edinburgh in the UK.
In order to find out whether the behavior is actually related to their outward appearance alone, the Göttingen researchers chose a study design in which physical attractiveness was assessed by other people. "When we did this, the connection can no longer be observed," explains von Borell.
The influence of physical condition on the behavior of men is different: the study showed that more muscular men were more extraverted and considered aggressive behavior to be more useful. In many other behaviors, however, the results showed no clear connection with the men's appearance. To determine the strength and physique of the men and women, all test subjects were imaged using a 3D body scanner and their grip and upper body strength measured.