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Study Finds That Attractive People Are Smarter 2011-01-17 12:40:15

Study Finds Attractive People Have Higher IQs


What do stars like Geena Davis and Jodie Foster have in common? They're both good-looking people, and both have higher-than-average IQs. But is there a link between beauty and brains? If recent research on the topic is to be believed, then yes. Using data from the London School of Economics (LSE) and the US's National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, researchers found that attractive people had IQs up to 14 points above average.

"Both in the British and American samples, physical attractiveness is significantly, positively associated with general intelligence, both with and without controls for social class, body size, and health," said Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa of the LSE. This could be the result of evolution bringing both beautiful and smart people together. In turn, looks and smarts tend to be passed down to subsequent generations.

Let's not forget, though, there are plenty of wicked smart people who aren't great lookers. They also have wicked smart family members. In essence, there are people of all sorts and types of acumen — yes, even "dumb blondes." In your experience, do you find this beauty and brains connection to be true, or do you call foul on this one?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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littlemunchkin littlemunchkin 5 years
I think this is a load of nonsense to be honest. It completely depends on how a person has been brought up. It the nature vs nurture argument...And who is judging who is "attractive" and who isn't??
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 5 years
Faylinn that isn't really true. Like any study you have define your variables, so within that study they probably define attractiveness as people with a perceived higher attractiveness, by whichever random groups are doing the rating. People have to be somewhat consistent in their ratings for some individuals to be significantly higher than others. While what is perceived to be attractive does change a bit over time, there are base factors that have remained consistent, especially when you only study the face.As for the validity of the study. I don't know many idiots, so I can't say if I've personally noticed a difference and obviously intelligence isn't the type of thing you observe just passing someone on the street. It would be sense that the average person chooses the best partner possible that they can get to mate with and that would include looks, financial/material wealth, fitness, intelligence, etc. The idea of the useless trophy wife I think is the exception rather than the rule.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 5 years
Faylinn that isn't really true. Like any study you have define your variables, so within that study they probably define attractiveness as people with a perceived higher attractiveness, by whichever random groups are doing the rating. People have to be somewhat consistent in their ratings for some individuals to be significantly higher than others. While what is perceived to be attractive does change a bit over time, there are base factors that have remained consistent, especially when you only study the face. As for the validity of the study. I don't know many idiots, so I can't say if I've personally noticed a difference and obviously intelligence isn't the type of thing you observe just passing someone on the street. It would be sense that the average person chooses the best partner possible that they can get to mate with and that would include looks, financial/material wealth, fitness, intelligence, etc. The idea of the useless trophy wife I think is the exception rather than the rule.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
What's interesting to me is that some beautiful people are assumed to be nothing more than *just* beautiful. A friend of mine is incredibly handsome. He's very bright, kind, well-read and so forth. But because he's so beautiful, people often seem surprised when he discusses the finer points of Nabokov, for instance. Then again, I know some physically beautiful people who are dim, dim, dim. Just goes to show that you can't say x=y in this situation. I don't buy this study's generalizations, anyway. And then there's the whole concept of beauty in general. I find intelligent, witty, kind people very attractive -- even if they aren't physically the most "beautiful." Intelligence is its own beauty, and frankly, it's the kind of beauty that will last longer than mere physical attractiveness. I mean, Paul Krugman isn't going to walk a runway anytime soon, but that man is so intelligent that he's one of the two bearded men on the planet that I find dreamy.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
What's interesting to me is that some beautiful people are assumed to be nothing more than *just* beautiful. A friend of mine is incredibly handsome. He's very bright, kind, well-read and so forth. But because he's so beautiful, people often seem surprised when he discusses the finer points of Nabokov, for instance. Then again, I know some physically beautiful people who are dim, dim, dim. Just goes to show that you can't say x=y in this situation. I don't buy this study's generalizations, anyway. And then there's the whole concept of beauty in general. I find intelligent, witty, kind people very attractive -- even if they aren't physically the most "beautiful." Intelligence is its own beauty, and frankly, it's the kind of beauty that will last longer than mere physical attractiveness. I mean, Paul Krugman isn't going to walk a runway anytime soon, but that man is so intelligent that he's one of the two bearded men on the planet that I find dreamy.
junebrug junebrug 5 years
I wanted to add an addendum that that's not always true. There are plenty socialites who do nothing (and for some reason still can't find time to raise their own children) and who, when cast aside for a younger version and divorce, decide to make handbags to pay the rent (why it's always handbags, I don't know.) But...there are the Natalie Portmans of the word. She's gorgeous and a great actress, she certainly didn't need a Harvard degree, but chose to get it for herself. It's the power of the human spirit I suppose, like anything else.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 5 years
Very interesting and insightful comments, all. We could start our own debate club!
junebrug junebrug 5 years
I find the opposite. It's certainly not that extremely beautiful people are stupid, it's just that, in some cases, they're uneducated. When someone is given the best of everything and doesn't have to make any effort for it, they're naturally not going to expend any more effort than necessary. That's just human nature. If someone could just step into a relationship with a handsome, fabulously wealthy person, would they go to any trouble to advance themselves? Some would not.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
I'm just happy that there is finally a retort to the "all beautiful girls are stupid" comment.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
It's odd that the LSE is behind this study. Seems sillier than what they would normally research.
ticamorena ticamorena 5 years
even if they have higher IQs, so what? I thought we'd laid the IQ fallacy to rest and agreed that intelligence - just like beauty - isn't so straightforward to measure and often such measurements are fraught with errors or subject to extremely variable interpretations but kudos to you nonetheless if you're smart and beautiful!
ticamorena ticamorena 5 years
even if they have higher IQs, so what? I thought we'd laid the IQ fallacy to rest and agreed that intelligence - just like beauty - isn't so straightforward to measure and often such measurements are fraught with errors or subject to extremely variable interpretations but kudos to you nonetheless if you're smart and beautiful!
littlemunchkin littlemunchkin 5 years
This is a load of codswallop. They're basing this solely on "nature" when in fact whether you have brains usually has a lot to do with how you are brought up ("nurture") and not what you look like.
stephley stephley 5 years
I'm with Faylinn
stephley stephley 5 years
I'm with Faylinn
AmberHoney AmberHoney 5 years
Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Anna Nicole Smith just to name a few "so-called" beautiful people with a hollow cranium. Not being rude, just trying to point out that these studies are basically useless unless you're one who got paid for doing it.
addictedreader addictedreader 5 years
It's not politically correct or meant to say that intelligence and beauty go hand in hand BUT it isn't unreasonable to conjecture that beauty is generally a result of excellent genes and that we are hardwired to associate "beauty" with health and strong genes and good mates. It's logical to assume that if you have good strong genes you will have ancestors who also were able to mate with the strongest mental genes, better for survival etc.. It's just the science of who we are based on evolution. Plastic surgery is changing all that anyway.
Faylinn Faylinn 5 years
They forgot to factor in the fact that two hot people can produce ugly children as well. Yeah, this study is bunk since one cannot scientifically determine attractiveness because it's a social construct that changes over time.
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