The Beauty Dictator Game: Perception of Generosity on Facial Attractiveness




Yan, Weiling

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While previous research has supported the existence of beauty premium, this paper focuses on the monetary value of perceivers’ willingness to interact with targets who have a higher level of facial attractiveness. I aimed to elicit people’s belief of generosity based on facial attractiveness. I analyzed such beliefs in a modified dictator game via online surveys. Controlling for gender and facial attractiveness, I found that less-than-average looking women were the only group that people perceived as more generous, and female perceivers were more likely to deem these unattractive females targets generous than male perceivers. Ironically, while male perceivers were no more likely to perceive attractive women as generous compared to female perceivers, male perceivers were willing to spend more money to receive payments from attractive women. These results bring new light to empirical and experimental research in the beauty literature, and they also have practical implications for negotiators.