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In the new study, researchers looked at 80 daughters and 61 mothers.
In one experiment, each woman was shown color photographs of three men.
Some studies have suggested that both parents and their adult children (especially daughters) may say that personality is more important than looks in a potential mate, with these individuals typically ranking physical attractiveness lower on a list of personality characteristics.
However, in real life, that's not how people seem to make these romantic decisions, Fugère told Live Science.
[5 Myths About Women's Bodies] But Fugère also added that "different people have different perceptions of what they consider to be moderately attractive." In addition, the findings demonstrated that "a moderate level of attractiveness is a necessity to young women and to their moms, and they are not willing to give that up in favor of personality," Fugère said.
She explained that physical attractiveness appears to act as a gatekeeper for potential mates.
The results showed that as long as a man was considered attractive or moderately attractive, both mothers and daughters would pick the guy who had the most desirable personality traits.
And finally, rating someone’s attractiveness before meeting them diminishes the rater’s evaluation of that person afterward, probably because the rater is comparing their conversation partner to all the other potential partners they saw online.
“With Tinder and user-directed online dating services, people try to manage the vast number of profiles by picking the most attractive people,” Hall said.
The study suggests that if a man is considered at least moderately attractive, then his personality matters to women, Fugère said.
If a man is viewed as less than moderately attractive, it doesn't seem to matter as much to women what his personality is like, Fugère explained.
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One of these men was considered "attractive"; one was considered moderately attractive," and one was "unattractive," as determined based on data from previous research.