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“Beauty bias”

Men more likely to tolerate unfairness from attractive women

By WITW Staff on July 8, 2015

Can good-looking people really get away with more than those with so-called average looks can? Some new research into the “beauty bias” seems to suggest they can. A new study by a Chinese university had a group of men rate 300 photographs of women on attractiveness, and then showed a different group of men photos of the different women, asking whether they would accept the woman’s offer to split a sum of money. The research showed that men were more likely (and quicker) to accept unfair offers from an attractive than an unattractive woman. While the researchers did not find out exactly why men would be swayed by these women’s beauty, Anthony Little, a University of Stirling psychologist, who was not involved in the study but has researched visual perception and attractiveness, offered an explanation: “We appear to have a bias toward being nice to attractive people even when the rewards to ourselves, such as increasing the chance of a date, wouldn’t apply. This suggests our motivations to be nice to attractive people are unlikely to be based on conscious decisions to maximize our own benefits.” While this was only a minor study, it adds to the growing research on what scientists have dubbed the “beauty premium” and “plain penalty” — which has shown, for example, that attractive people are more likely to be hired, promoted and earn more than their more “average-looking” colleagues.

Read the full story at Business Insider.