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This study employed lonely hearts advertisements to investigate the effects of reported physical appearance on interpersonal attraction. The personal advertisements in a local Columbus magazine were coded in terms of the individual's gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and evaluative self-description of his or her own appearance. The magazine recorded the number of responses each ad received, and this constituted the dependent measure. Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that more responses were received by women and by individuals providing nonnegative, evaluative self-descriptions than by their counterparts. Also, tall male advertisers and light female advertisers received more responses than their shorter and heavier counterparts. Finally, advertisers with red or salt and pepper hair received more responses than blonde and brunette advertisers. Discussion focused on the relations between these findings and those of past research and on the utility of lonely hearts advertisements in psychological research.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Lynn, M., & Shurgot, B. A. (1984). Responses to lonely hearts advertisements: Effects of reported physical attractiveness, physique, and coloration. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 10(3), 349-357. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.