A new study has found the better looking a man is, the more likely he is to be selfish.
Brunel University London tested a theory in evolutionary psychology that attractive people have more to gain from inequality because they tend to have higher social status.
‘We found that attractive men tended to be less egalitarian and less generous. But that wasn’t the case with attractive women,’ said lead investigator and senior lecturer in psychology at Brunel University London, Dr Michael Price.
The research team scored 125 male and female participants on standard attractiveness measures, such as slimness, waist-to-chest ratio for men, and waist-to-hip ratio for women.
The participants also filled out a personality questionnaire which measured their behavior and attitudes toward inequality and selfishness, and they took part in an economics experiment in which they were given money and asked to decide how much to share with someone else.
The participants were judged by a group of raters for attractiveness, and a second group of raters judged how altruistic and egalitarian they looked from their photos.
‘We found that the "raters" perceived better-looking men and women as being less altruistic and egalitarian,’ Price said.
‘Our results showed that in fact we may be justified in expecting more attractive men to behave in ways that are less favorable to economic and social equality.
‘The results suggest that better-looking men may be biased towards being more selfish and less egalitarian.’
But Dr Price thinks that this bias can be overcome.
‘The best way to help people overcome a bias is to make them more conscious that they have it,’ he said.
‘The correlation between attractiveness and selfishness was nowhere close to being perfect, and many very attractive men will also be very altruistic and egalitarian.’
The study adds a new perspective on why some men may be more selfish than others.
‘Several studies have suggested that wealthier people tend to care less about kindness and equality,’ Price added.
‘But our study suggests that attractiveness is at least as important as wealth in influencing these attitudes.’