Career: Brain VS Attractiveness

By
May 14, 2009

When it comes to career success it is a person's brain and not the appearance that matters the most, claims a new research by the University of Florida. According to the findings, individuals with intelligence earn much more in their lifetime compared to those who have just good looks or are self-confident.

While beauty and attractiveness play not a last role in career success, it is brain and intelligence that are the most important factors, said Timothy Judge, a UF management professor who led the study. If there is some chance to make a choice between being smart, good-looking or self-confident, the new findings shows that, while the majority would opt for all three qualities, brains turn out to be the most important to achieve economic success, the expert added.

Teachers are more likely to reward those students who are intelligent, which increases self-confidence and contributes to the further academic performance and success, according to Professor Judge. He said that smart people also in many cases have tendency to make better career choices, learn more on the job, negotiate for wages more effectively and adapt better to any changes in the office.

The results of the new study were based on the data that was collected from a national survey of almost 200 men and women between the ages of 25 and 75. Over the course of one year, the investigators examined and judged looks of all the participants by rating their photographic images on a scale between 1 and 7. Volunteers were given intelligence tests and also rated on self-confidence.

The results revealed that intelligence is still twice as important as what you look like, it was ranked as the major, number one factor in determining income. Self-confidence came in the second position and attractive appearance was ranked in the last position above mentioned among the three factors studied. However, the research also found that outer beauty still plays an important role in the real world and an individual's income prospects are enhanced by being good looking. The findings also suggest that some employers do have biases towards those with good looks and the experts said that there is not much that can be done about that.

The findings indicate that "brains before beauty" does not tell the whole story, said Charlice Hurst, a doctoral candidate in organizational behavior who co-authored the study with Professor Judge and fellow graduate student Lauren Simon. "We all want to believe that, but unfortunately that is not always the case," said Hurst.

Hurst also said that the ratings were primarily based on the faces of the participants, and therefore paying attention to grooming habits during a job interview might not matter. It is not about putting on an appropriate suit or having the perfect hairstyle, she said. As it was mentioned before, according to the study, people with attractive appearance are more likely to have higher self-esteem and levels of education. The research suggests that good looks might boost people's confidence in a way that helps them get advanced and promoted, it has an effect on how people see themselves, their self worth.

The research is published in the May issue of the journal of Applied Psychology.




Tags: Career & Money


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