Are attractive athletes more likely to win?


We investigated whether individual differences in athleticism, and in turn heritable fitness, may be signaled by differences in facial attractiveness within a highly select group of athletes: National Football League (NFL) quarterbacks (QBs). Athleticism was operationalized as the passer rating, the NFL’s official measure of performance among QBs. Results from a preliminary study showed a positive correlation between 30 NFL QBs’ passer ratings and their facial attractiveness as rated by 30 women. In a further study, a different group of 30 women rated a different cohort of 58 NFL QBs. The results showed that the QBs’ mean attractiveness ratings were positively correlated with their passer ratings, which was found to be independent of players’ age, ethnicity, height, weight, or facial expression. These findings build upon previous research and provide further support for the hypothesis that individual differences in athleticism, a heritable trait desirable in mate selection, may be signaled reliably through facial attractiveness.

Source: “The face reveals athletic flair: Better National Football League quarterbacks are better looking” from Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 48, Issue 2, January 2010, Pages 112-116

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