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Attractive People Are Assumed to Be Good

Why Prince Charming Is Always a Hottie

Ever wonder why the villains in most stories are unattractive, or why the hero is almost always handsome? A study from neuroscientists at Duke suggests that, in women at least, good looks and good acts are linked in the brain. Basically, scientists found that the same areas of the brain light up when women see a less attractive face or hear an immoral act described, and a different area is activated when they see a handsome face or hear about someone doing a kind or good thing.

The overlap helps explain why less attractive people are more generally discriminated against, and why the handsome among us often seem to lead charmed lives. While we've long known that attractive people tend to be treated better, until now it was unclear whether it was a societal choice or something innate. Now that we know humans are hardwired to assume the worst about people based on looks, how do you think we can change that behavior?

Join The Conversation
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
@bryseana - Mine too! I think overriding the bias toward good looks takes work and practice. Consciously try to be compassionate toward everyone, and that bias will diminish.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 7 years
I always thought Prince Eric was the hottest of the Disney heroes.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
Shrek is my favorite prince charming. I agree with miss_glitterati. I think a lot of it is due to cultural ideals of attractiveness which vary considerably. I believe it's a nurtured way of thinking rather than an innate one.
miss_glitterati miss_glitterati 7 years
This doesn't tell us that "humans are hardwired to assume the worst about people based on looks". It may suggest that, but unless they are using a sample of people who have never seen a Disney movie (or experienced any culture for that matter), these results could be because of cultural influences.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
No wonder it takes girls so long to figure out when that hot guy is a jerk
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