Are beautiful people more intelligent?


#1

We haven’t seen a good debate on HTMF for a while, so I offer the following for people to consider and discuss. As I was reading some past abstracts of a journal I’m interested in I ran into the following by Satoshi Kanazawa (from the journal “Intelligence” Volume 32, Issue 3)

The Abstract to the Paper “Why beautiful people are more intelligent”

“Empirical studies demonstrate that individuals perceive physically attractive others to be more intelligent than physically unattractive others. While most researchers dismiss this perception as a “bias” or “stereotype,” we contend that individuals have this perception because beautiful people indeed are more intelligent. The conclusion that beautiful people are more intelligent follows from four assumptions. (1) Men who are more intelligent are more likely to attain higher status than men who are less intelligent. (2) Higher-status men are more likely to mate with more beautiful women than lower-status men. (3) Intelligence is heritable. (4) Beauty is heritable. If all four assumptions are empirically true, then the conclusion that beautiful people are more intelligent is logically true, making it a proven theorem. We present empirical evidence for each of the four assumptions. While we concentrate on the relationship between beauty and intelligence in this paper, our evolutionary psychological explanation can account for a correlation between physical attractiveness and any other heritable trait that helps men attain higher status (such as aggression and social skills).”

What do you think?


#2

It’s your classic ‘chicken and egg’ scenario.

Are they attractive because they’re successful and intelligent? Or are they successful because they’re attractive and intelligent?

Or something like that.

I’ll paraphrase a wise man* who said something like “all the good looking girls get all the help they need in first-year Computer Science.” His point being that he wasn’t a good looking girl, and he needed help with his Java assignment, whereas all the good looking girls got all the help they ever needed.

*Man-ted Chan, I think.

But honestly, it’s a circular argument. Correlation does not equal causation. It’s like saying sick people are more likely to be poor than healthy people.


#3

That is true.

Furthermore, how do we define attractive? What’s attractive to one person may not be attractive to others. I wish I could read the whole article to learn if the writter deals with these issues.

As an aside, this makes me think of the book called “Mismeasure of man” by Steven Jay Gould. Anyone interested in intellegence might enjoy reading that book.


#4

Look at all the geniuses you see on tv, the net, or in books. Are they attractive individuals? I rest my case. :wink:


#5

I’m not a genius. I am, however, an attractive individual.


#6

Facial symmetry has been linked to beauty. For a given face, as you get nearer to identical left an right sides, the attractive factor increases.
(Do you know how hard it is to keep a moustache even?)


#7

I think the attractive and smart thing might work with ladies but not with men,

which is the dumb jock thing.


#8

The majority of hot females I have met are either dumb, or sluts.


#9

As for attractive males, they seem to be too involved with themselves to stay with a girl for more than a night.

I’m probably being very judgmental but I don’t care.

:laughing:


#10

Extremely hard, especially when you have 11 hairs on one side, and 15 on the other.


#11

some sites:

Beauty and Symmetry

An online experiment

I remember reading a book by Desmond Morris that discussed research on the way men of various culture were all attracted to a similar body type in women. The body type was classified by the ratio of the waist to the hips.
Here is a link that discusses this.
Waist-to-hip ratio

In men, I read somewhere else that the best ratio is .9


#12

I’m too sexy for my brain… too sexy…
when I shake my IQ on the runway…

Does that mean, if the border between madness and genius is thin; that the stark raving mad are all hotties?


#13

No, that means that you aren’t one of those intelligent people he’s talking about.

Dave: Your arguement holds up in theory, but I know alot of good looking people who are stunned as me arse, and alot of smart uglies.

Me? I’m both good looking and a genius. Go figure.


#14

Sick people are more likely to be poor than healthy people. It’s a truth.


#15

[quote=“Charles_T”]
Sick people are more likely to be poor than healthy people. It’s a truth.[/quote]

Yes, it’s a correlation. But it’s not causation. I know it’s true, that’s why I used the example. But are they poor because they’re sick, or sick because they’re poor ?

Substitute wealthy, successful and beautiful for poor and sick, and it’s the same kind of logic.


#16

I think the assumption that intelligence is heritable is a dangerous one. There seems to be a lot of debate over after doing a quick google search. Eg: wilderdom.com/personality/L4 … rture.html
Nature vs. Nuture.

But who can really say? Intelligence is a complex thing, so is human behavior.

Personally though I think intelligence falls into more of the ‘aquired traits’ catagory of evoltution, where aquired traits are NOT passed on through genes.

My reasoning for this is people who suffer from serious epilepsy sometimes have half of their brain removed to cure their condition. If intelligence really was heritable then wouldn’t you assume that the size of the brain and the layout/relative size of various parts of the brain account for intelligence? And if this WAS true then a larger brain, with better developed lobes and so forth would make a person more intelligent. But as seen in these patients with half of their brain removed there seems to be very little to no effect in their cognitive abilities.

What this all relates to is the idea that a person can’t pass along aquired traits. An aquired trait would be like a body builder expecting that he could pass along his muscular genes to his offspring, which he can’t. If he had a natural modification such as a different bone structure that made him naturally stronger then perhaps that trait would be passed along. It’s my belief that intelligence stems from ‘excercising’ the brain, developing neuro pathways and better communication between the different lobes of the brain. Much the same as you’d work out a muscle to be stronger. Neither of these are traits that are passed along genetically. And as seen in people who literally have half a brain, size/shape/layout doesn’t seem to play a crucial role in intelligence.

Like I said intelligence is complex. A small part of it may be due to a larger brain, but even if that larger brain is passed along genetically there is no real evidence that person will be naturally more intelligent. A person with a large frame and large muscles can be a lot weaker than a person with a small body who excercises regularily.

Now that I’ve sort of explained (I think) why I don’t think that intelligence is related to genetic here’s just a few things on intelligence through nuture.

I think that a more ‘beautiful person’ may get more attention from others. They may get a better education through it. Or it seems to me more likely they’ll use that attention to their advantage to take the easy way out and use that attention to help them coast through life. For example a beautiful girl may get people to help her with her homework, to understand, but more likely she’ll just ask for the answers and not bother linking the ideas in her head and making sense of them.

Yeah. I’m about done rambling now.


#17

Oh the old Nature vs Nurture theory… I’ve spent many a classes discussing that over the years.

As for the 0.7 ratio of waist to hips… big chicks can still have a 0.7 ratio while they are deemed less attractive… so I don’t think that theory sticks.


#18

[quote=“smartass”]Oh the old Nature vs Nurture theory… I’ve spent many a classes discussing that over the years.

As for the 0.7 ratio of waist to hips… big chicks can still have a 0.7 ratio while they are deemed less attractive… so I don’t think that theory sticks.[/quote]

That is precisely why the theory works. In the studies, men prefered overweight women with a ratio of 0.7 over thinner women who’s ratio was different. Yes, they may be less attractive than thinner women with the same ratio but they beat others that stray away from the ratio. I am not going to endorse the explanation of this in any way but I remember reading that this ratio seems to act as a fertility index. The closer to the ratio, the more likely the woman would be to bear children.

And Transcending, you didn’t ramble. Your post was quite, shall I say, intelligent. However, even if intelligence might not be genetic in itself, isn’t it possible that certain traits relating to the physiology of the brain can be passed on and that among those we could find the ability to make neural pathways. If so, maybe some people are born with a better ability to do this. Just like some people are better athletes even with equal amount of training.
What I also find scary about your argument is that it could lead to say that certain culture may be more intelligent than others because their society has better systems to pass on the aquired traits (education). Using that idea, it becomes culturally biased. Am I more intelligent than someone in Africa because I can use a computer and he can’t because his village doesn’t have any?


#19

smuglies rule.


#20

[quote=“BigThumb”]

[quote=“smartass”]Oh the old Nature vs Nurture theory… I’ve spent many a classes discussing that over the years.

As for the 0.7 ratio of waist to hips… big chicks can still have a 0.7 ratio while they are deemed less attractive… so I don’t think that theory sticks.[/quote]

That is precisely why the theory works. In the studies, men prefered overweight women with a ratio of 0.7 over thinner women who’s ratio was different. Yes, they may be less attractive than thinner women with the same ratio but they beat others that stray away from the ratio. I am not going to endorse the explanation of this in any way but I remember reading that this ratio seems to act as a fertility index. The closer to the ratio, the more likely the woman would be to bear children.

And Transcending, you didn’t ramble. Your post was quite, shall I say, intelligent. However, even if intelligence might not be genetic in itself, isn’t it possible that certain traits relating to the physiology of the brain can be passed on and that among those we could find the ability to make neural pathways. If so, maybe some people are born with a better ability to do this. Just like some people are better athletes even with equal amount of training.
What I also find scary about your argument is that it could lead to say that certain culture may be more intelligent than others because their society has better systems to pass on the aquired traits (education). Using that idea, it becomes culturally biased. Am I more intelligent than someone in Africa because I can use a computer and he can’t because his village doesn’t have any?[/quote]

Yeah, I think I touched on some traits being passed along that ‘may’ make a person more intelligent. But like I also said I just don’t think that’s the case. There’s a good article in National Geographic about it , June of 1995. , cover story.

I don’t see why that’s scary? If a culture promotes learning and education what’s wrong with that culture having a higher rate of intelligent people? I think Canadian society sort of promotes laziness. We have so many fail safes for people that it seems a lot of people just choose to coast through life. Maybe it’s wrong to say but maybe the reason we see so many African doctors here in Canada is because they’ve lived through hardship and have a firmer grasp on a harsh reality so they were motivated to get a good education. To work, sweat, bleed for their education.

That’s just sort of a broad generalization. But in Canada we can still live relatively comfortably without an education. Maybe not live as comfortably as the rest, but we’re not likely to die from starvation. Maybe that’s more of a reality in countries like Africa. Hence high motivation and lots of African doctors.