Are Beautiful People more Intelligent?
Posted by shadmia on March 30, 2009
According to Satoshi Kanazaw, an evolutionary psychologist and author, it is indeed true that there is a direct co-relation between beauty and intelligence. There is a widely held opinion that physically attractive people are more intelligent, competent and possess many other desirable characteristics.
A large number of experiments over the years have shown that, when asked to rate the intelligence or competence of unknown others, people tend to rate attractive others as more intelligent and competent than unattractive others. This sentiment is captured in an old aphorism “What is beautiful is good.”
Kanazaw goes on to explain that the recognition of beauty is innate and independent of culture. Using studies done on infants, 5-year-old kids and adults he concludes that the stereotype, like most stereotypes, is true and there is much truth in sayings such as: “What is beautiful is good.”
It is a stereotype that beautiful people are more intelligent. But, as I explain in an earlier post, virtually all stereotypes are empirically true; if they were not true, they would not be stereotypes in the first place. And it turns out that this one is no exception. People believe beautiful people are more intelligent, because they in fact are.
He refers to experiments done in 2000-2001. Participants in the experiment were asked to take an IQ test called the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. The participants were also graded, by an independent interviewer, on their attractiveness. The results showed a “clear monotonic positive association between physical attractiveness and intelligence.”
- Very unattractive – Mean IQ=94.2
- Unattractive – Mean IQ=94.9
- About average – Mean IQ=97.1
- Attractive – Mean IQ=100.3
- Very attractive – Mean IQ=100.7
The experiment also found that on average men were slightly more intelligent than women but women were slightly more attractive than men.
What does all this mean? I don’t know….. but maybe a “tummy tuck” or a “face lift” can improve your intelligence??