Attractive People Are Smarter Than You Too

Attractive People Are Smarter Than You Too

We can’t all be Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt, but what we lack in looks we make up for in brains, right? Apparently not. Researchers in London have found that attractive people are smarter too, dammit.

This has to be some sort of joke, right? I’ve seen the best minds of my generation, and the faces attached to them aren’t winning any prizes. What gives?

Researchers at the London School of Economics studied 52,000 people from the United Kingdom and the United States, and their results were conclusive: Attractive men have IQs 13.6 points above average, while pretty women score 11.4 points higher.

“Physical attractiveness is significantly positively associated with general intelligence,” said LSE lead researcher Satoshi Kanazawa, in the latest issue of the journal Intelligence.

Why is this the case? The study theorises that intelligent men are more successful than men of lesser intelligent. Beautiful women are attracted to successful men. Therefore, by breeding with attractive women, these successful, intelligent men produce more attractive, more intelligent offspring.

Of course those are all broad generalizations. I’d like to think that women are more attracted to intelligent men in general, not just because of their successes. I’d rather not paint women with such a broad brush, and not just because it’s depressing to me as a homely smart guy.

At least Kanazawa keeps everyone grounded, letting us know that we shouldn’t use the results of this study as a basis to judge others.

“Our contention that beautiful people are more intelligent is purely scientific,” he said. “It is not a prescription for how to treat or judge others.”

That’s right, boys and girls. This is just cold, hard, scientific evidence. No need to treat people uglier than you as inferior just because science says they are.

What I’ve read about the study leaves many questions unanswered, the most important being how it was determined that the 52,000 people involved in the study were of above average attractiveness. It’s a value I feel is hard to quantify scientifically, as it differs with every person. Hell, someone found me attractive enough to want to marry me. That fact alone makes me want to toss these results out the window.

I’d check out the full article at ScienceDirect, but they want me to pay $US31.50 for it. I may be ugly, but I’m not any more stupid than science says I should be.

Beautiful men, women are more likely to be smarter with high IQs, too: study []


  • Ha! Jamie you beat me to it!

    Some question I have (which won’t be answered since I’m not going to read the full paper) are:

    1) Out of those people tested, how many were actually deemed attractive, and how many got above average on the IQ test?

    2) What measure of attractiveness did they use, and what form of IQ test did they use?

    My experience with IQ tests is that they only measure IQ, not intelligence. It’s always arguable whether IQ is a good indicator of intelligence.

    • I agree. IQ cannot always indicate inteligence…..But to play devil’s advocate; what can inteligence be deemed as?
      Your command of language? your mathematical ability?
      I think you get where im going with this.

      In regards to this ‘finding’ though it’s to generalized to have any weight.

  • Its reasonable that bilateral symmetry, the basest form of beauty, correlates to intelligence. Symmetry often relates to health and therefore, on average, a more functional brain. “Beautiful” people often eat better which is a direct relation to cognitive function. The positive bias is probably of evolutionary benefit.

    That being said, most of the genius’ I know (IQ 150+) are not exactly adonis or athena either. It also may not be a question of how smart beautiful people are, but how stupid ugly people are.

    You know who you are…

  • Steven Hawking, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci. 3 of the greatest minds ever but not what you’d exactly call ‘chick magnets’.

  • If I recall correctly, Hawking was not an exceptional student in his younger days, prior to his affliction to his disease. In fact, it was the disease that drove Stephen to expand his mind and his intelligence; I mean, really, if you’ve become a human vegetable what else would you focus on?

    So his intelligence was not conducive to his looks, but rather from hard work (although, to theorise that his disease has (as a byproduct) made him more mentally focused individual would not be a bad guess either.

    Also, intelligent people are far less concerned with, and when tending to their looks compared to the probably vain, self centered, narcissistic individuals that were subjects of this study.

    • 52,000 “vain, self centered, narcissistic individuals”? Wouldn’t they think participating in a study to help understand other people would be below them?

      I think it is quite an interesting study. You have to remember thou the results mean on average.

      So of 100 good looking (Not Supermodel standard just attractive) people vs 100 not so attractive people the good lookers would be slightly smarter as a group. That makes sense based on evolution. The good looking smart people breed and make more good looking smart people. It has also been found that (again on average) people tend to Mate/Marry people of similar standards of attractiveness. Of course there are exceptions like Hugh Hefner but that is another kettle of fish.

  • Ah yes the IQ score that universal constant of measuring an abstract nebulous concept.

    Not to mention they base this entirely off genetics? And on top of that assume that people solely go for other people based on intelligence as if it was so fucking if: A then go to C sort of equation?

    Its a view of sexuality that could only come from someone with no fucking clue what wider social interaction entails and on top of that assumes intelligence is an entirely genetic thing rather than say a broad thing covered by genetics, upbringing, culture, personality traits that relate to the development of intelligence etc

    F**king terrible scientists.

  • Coming up with an apparent exception- Einstein, Hawking, apparently dumb fashion models, etc, is not actually refuting the claim that *on average*, attractive people score higher on I.Q tests. Nor is this even a new *theory*. It’s been around in ev-psych for a long time. This is just a new study.

    It’s not a brilliant study for a bunch of reasons- what measure of intelligence/attractiveness? Is that even quantifiable?- but nor is it trash. Evolutionary psychology is always misreported/misrepresented anyway, and more for political reasons than any arguments from philosophy of science.

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