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New study links good looks and high IQ
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 17:56 PM

Over the years, researchers have conducted studies to see how beautiful people differ from other members of the population beyond their appearance.

For instance, University of Texas-Austin economics professor Daniel Hamermesh found that those who are considered attractive also tend to make more money, marry good-looking, well-educated spouses, and, as a result, live happier lives, The Globe and Mail reported.

Now, the results of a recent London School of Economics study reveal that beautiful people may have higher IQs as well. According to The Week, researchers looked at data from the National Child Development Study, which has followed 17,419 British subjects since they were born in 1958. In addition, they analyzed information related to 52,000 Americans from a similar study.

What the researchers found was that attractive men had IQs that were 13.6 points above the general population, while beautiful women tended to score 11.4 points higher than the average, the news source reported.

Based on these results, the authors of the study, which was published in the academic journal Intelligence, feel that the connection between beauty and brains may be traced to these individuals’ parents. Smart men tend to be more successful than those who are less intelligent, and, as a result, tend to attract beautiful women, according to the news outlet. When these couples reproduce, their children can inherit their physical and cognitive talents.

"Given that both intelligence and physical attractiveness are highly heritable, there should be a positive correlation between intelligence and physical attractiveness in the children’s generation," said Satoshi Kanazawa, the study’s lead researcher, as quoted by the New York Daily News.

At the same time, Kanazawa made a point to stress that these are merely the findings of a study.

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

After the release of the London School of Economics study, The Sun singled out a few famous faces that provide even more weight to the findings. For instance, actress Kate Beckinsale, who has been named one of the world’s most beautiful women multiple times, studied at Oxford University and can speak French, German and Russian. Academy Award winner Natalie Portman graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is fluent in French, Hebrew and Japanese.

The London School of Economics study is not the first to look at the link between appearance and IQ. According to The Daily Beast, there is such a thing as "the attractiveness effect." This is when teachers award better looking students with higher grades than those with a more homely appearance.

Sociologist Michael T. French of the University of Miami and colleagues sought to gain more insight into this phenomenon and produced a report titled Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Personality and Grooming on Academic Performance in High School, the news source reported. French and his peers found that students who had charismatic personalities and were also physically attractive saw increases in their grade point average (GPA).

"Being very well groomed is associated with a statistically significant GPA premium," French and his colleagues wrote in the paper, as quoted by the news outlet. "While grooming has the largest effect on GPA for male students, having a very attractive personality is most important for female students."

Despite whatever evidence exists, there are always exceptions to the rule. Rather than making assumptions about their cognitive abilities based on what they see in the mirror, people should just consider taking an IQ test.

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