HNR has a well researched piece about attractiveness. Ten points worth noting:
- On measures of affect and mood, physically attractive people score higher than less physically attractive people.
- People perceive physically attractive people as smarter, more successful, more sociable, more dominant, sexually warmer, mentally healthier and higher in self-esteem than their physically unattractive counterparts. While this ‘beauty is good’ effect is moderately strong, studies show that attractive people are neither more nor less intelligent than less attractive people.
- Physically attractive people are more relaxed and socially adept and less socially anxious and lonely than less physically attractive people.
- We are more likely to divulge personal information about ourselves to physically attractive people than we are to divulge less physically attractive people.
- We are more likely to help a physically attractive person than we are a physically unattractive person.
- If we are presented with a group of people and asked to use non-physical cues to identify who has psychopathology, we are more likely identify physically unattractive people as we are to identify more physically attractive people.
- Physically attractive people with psychological disturbance are judged to be more maladjusted and to have a poorer prognosis than less physically attractive people with the same psychological disturbance.
- A physically attractive person charged with the same crime as a less attractive person is more likely to be found not guilty of that crime. Physically attractive individuals found guilty of a particular crime are more likely to receive more lenient sentences than less attractive defendants. In court cases in which the crime is sex-related, physically unattractive defendants are considered to be more dangerous than better-looking offenders. This effect is often independent of the actual grooming or attire of the defendant.
- Good-looking faces trigger the same kinds of brain networks that are activated when people become addicted to cocaine and gambling.
- There appears to be a universal, cross-cultural undesirability for people with facial disfigurements and other flaws. Even babies seem to prefer physically attractive faces to physically unattractive ones.
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