Skin-deep: Analyzing Whether Attractiveness Affects Rejection Responses in Unrequited Love

Pearce, Rachel
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This study examined experiences of unrequited love by exploring the effects of attractiveness, gender, and race on rejector responses. The sample (N = 142) of Baylor undergraduates completed a survey that contained a stimulus person picture and a hypothetical scenario in which they were rejecting a would-be lover. The attractiveness, race, and gender of the stimulus pictures were manipulated to assess the emotional and behavioral responses in different conditions. As expected, attractiveness had a main effect on most of the factors, indicating that treatment of would-be lovers varies depending on attractiveness. We also found 2-way effects with race and gender, as well as attractiveness and gender. There was only one 3-way effect for attractiveness, race, and gender, related to how rude rejectors’ responses were. Further, factor responses in the Basic Needs Satisfaction Scale were correlated to the emotional and behavioral responses, demonstrating the importance of considering Self-Determination Theory when analyzing how people relate to others.

Unrequited Love., Attractiveness., Social Psychology.