Beauty = Success ?
Beauty and attractiveness has long been associated with success e.g. in relationships, jobs/careers etc. This belief, supported by previous studies and anecdotal evidence, is known as the “beauty premium” or “ugliness penalty.”
Happily for those who are not considered attractive, a study conducted by the London School of Economics and the University of Massachusetts and published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, has found that individuals are not automatically discriminated against solely on the grounds of their physical appearance.
Researchers Satoshi Kanazawa and Mary Still examined data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which measured the physical attractiveness of individuals over a period of 13 years using a 5-point scale.
In their analysis of Add Health Kanazawa and Still found that more attractive individuals often acquired more knowledge than their less attractive peers, largely due to their possession of other qualities, such as being more intelligent, conscientious, healthy, calm and extroverted.
“Physically more attractive workers may earn more, not necessarily because they are more beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent, and have better personality traits conducive to higher earnings,” says Kanazawa.
Interestingly, those who were categorized as being “very unattractive” were high earners. They all exceeded those who were considered “merely unattractive,” and earned more than individuals categorized as average and above-average attractiveness.
It is notable that the study points to the possibility that individuals on both ends of the beauty spectrum earn more than those in the middle. Clearly a lot more research is required before any valid conclusions c