It has already been established that attractive people get paid more than average. Now, a study in the academic journal Intelligence concludes that they're smarter than the rest of humanity, too. According to the lead researcher from the London School of Economics, "physical attractiveness is significantly positively associated with general intelligence, both with and without controls for social class, body size, and health." Why is this?
What did the study find, exactly?
Researchers looked at 52,000 people from the United States and the United Kingdom. They found that men who were deemed attractive had IQs 13.6 points higher than average, while attractive women scored 11.4 points better than the general population. The British subjects were culled from the National Child Development Study, which has followed 17,419 Britons from their births in 1958; the 35,000 Americans were tapped from a similar study. The intelligence portion of the study was based on subjects' academic test scores.
Why are good-looking people so smart?
The study's authors postulate that intelligent men are more successful than their homelier counterparts, and thus more likely to attract beautiful women. The couple's offspring then inherit both the beauty and the brains, and the cycle continues.
What has the reaction been to this?
Satoshi Kanazawa, the study's lead researcher, took care to say that the study's results are "purely scientific," and not "a prescription for how to treat or judge others." "That's right, boys and girls," says Mike Fahey at Kotaku. "This is just cold, hard, scientific evidence. No need to treat people uglier than you as inferior just because science says they are."
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