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J Genet Psychol. 1998 Sep;159(3):337-44.

Effects of perceived attractiveness and academic success on early adolescent peer popularity.

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Department of Psychology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA.


Effects of perceived attractiveness and academic performance on 9th graders' ratings of peers' popularity were investigated. Participants were 270 9th graders (152 girls, 118 boys) who read a vignette describing a hypothetical same-sex peer with whom the student had been assigned to complete a project. The partner's attractiveness and academic performance were systematically varied in four conditions: high attractiveness/high grades, high attractiveness/low grades, low attractiveness/high grades, and low attractiveness/low grades. After reading the vignette, the students rated the partner's popularity. As hypothesized, analyses of variance revealed that attractive partners were significantly more popular than unattractive partners, regardless of whether the partner had high or low grades. Contrary to expectation, attractiveness was not more important to girls than to boys. Integration with past research and suggestions for future research are offered.

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