Personality traits covary to form a General Factor of Personality (GFP). Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), the associations between the GFP and both self-reported and rater-based physical attractiveness were examined. While it was predicted that the GFP would exhibit positive associations with each measure of physical attractiveness, it was also predicted that the nature of the associations would vary. Indeed, the GFP was positively correlated with both measures of physical attractiveness, yet each measure accounted for unique variance in the GFP. Additional tests examining the relative importance of the GFP (in comparison to the individual traits), in explaining variance in attractiveness suggested that the GFP is more important in explaining variance in rater-based than self-reported attractiveness. The differences in associations were buttressed by tests using the Add Health sibling subsample. The results of genetic analyses showed that the GFP covariation with the rater-based measure of physical attractiveness was exclusively due to additive genetic factors. Nonshared environment explained the majority of the covariation between the GFP and self-reported attractiveness. The results may shed light on the proximate and ultimate nature of the GFP.

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Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology
Department of Psychology

Dunkel, C., Nedelec, J.L. (Joseph L.), van der Linden, D., & Marshall, R.L. (Riley L.). (2017). Physical Attractiveness and the General Factor of Personality. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 3(3), 185–197. doi:10.1007/s40750-016-0055-7