Rather mind or beauty? Attractive scientists often seem less competent

Rather mind or beauty? Attractive scientists often seem less competent

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Good looking researchers seem less competent to most people
A study by British researchers has shown that attractive scientists spark more interest in most people, but also appear less competent. It was previously known that political success, for example, can often be influenced more by looks than by statements.

Attractive scientists look more interesting
It is not only in the film and fashion industry that it matters how people look, but also in many other areas of life. This was also shown in scientific studies. Chinese scientists reported last year on a study according to which children trust more beautiful people. British researchers have now also looked at the effects of appearance. According to your study, attractive scientists are more interesting to us than less beautiful ones. However, they also seem less competent.

Rated by appearance
According to a recent study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), we tend to find pretty scientists more interesting than their less attractive colleagues.

However, the less handsome are considered the better scientists.

To arrive at this result, the team of scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of Essex presented photos of around 600 researchers from US and British universities to the study participants.

The subjects should make various assessments: How attractive is the person depicted? How intelligent does it look? How old does it look?

Greater interest in the work of pretty researchers
The researchers found that the subjects were more interested in the work of the more attractive scientists than in the less good-looking ones.

But when it came to judging whether a scientist was doing a high quality job, people tended to associate it less with pretty individuals.

Many have the impression that the more attractive a scientist is, the less good his research is. The facial expression was also of great importance.

The interest in the study was generally slightly higher for older researchers than for younger ones, and somewhat lower for female than male.

Political success influenced by appearance
The results for the study authors were not entirely surprising. From previous research, it was known that appearance can influence political success, said Dr. Will Skylark from the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University in a communication.

This is often more important than what politicians say. "We wanted to see whether this also applies to scientists," said the study director.

"Given the importance of science in issues that could have a major impact on society, such as climate change, food sustainability and vaccination, scientists are increasingly required to address the public," said Skylark.

Regarding the new findings, he said: "It seems that facial expressions are important for people when selecting and evaluating scientific news."

"It is not yet clear how much this shapes the spread and acceptance of scientific ideas in public, but due to the rapid growth of visual media, this could become an increasingly important topic." (Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Joe Rogan Experience #1344 - Joseph LeDoux (July 2022).


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