A closer look at first sight: Social relations lens model analysis of personality and interpersonal attraction at zero acquaintance



Based on a new theoretical framework—the Social Relations Lens Model—this study examined the influence of personality on real-life attraction at zero acquaintance. A group of psychology freshmen (N = 73) was investigated upon encountering one another for the first time. Personality traits, attraction ratings and metaperceptions were assessed using a large round-robin design (2628 dyads). In line with our model, personality differentially predicted who was a liker and who expected to be liked (perceiver effects), who was popular and who was seen as a liker (target effects), as well as who liked whom and who expected to be liked by whom (relationship effects). Moreover, the influence of personality on attraction was mediated by observable physical, nonverbal and audible cues. Results allowed a closer look at first sight and underline the importance of combining componential and process approaches in understanding the interplay of personality and social phenomena. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.