Do Attractive People Make More Money? New Study Has Surprising Answer

Traditionally, people associated physical attractiveness with money and success even if it has no connection to talent or skill. If that’s true, the opposite seems just as likely: ‘ugly’ people earn less money than ‘pretty’ people. But a new study at the London School of Economics and the University of Massachusetts is throwing cold water on this hot theory.

Mary Still from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Satoshi Kanazawa from the London School of Economics and Political Science have released a surprising new study using data from 20,000 young Americans. The results are crazy! Their findings show that there’s no direct evidence that ‘ugly’ people have lower earning power. Instead, when other traits were added to the mix extroverted and conscientious (and less neurotic) individuals came out on top in spite of their physical attractiveness.

The study’s big secret? They divided people’s physical attractiveness into more categories. Previous studies had lumped “unattractive” people into one big group. The new study separated people that were measured as “very unattractive” from those that were rated as “unattractive.” The result? An actual “ugliness premium:” seemingly ugly people might have higher earning power.

What does this say to us? Hard workers that do a good job get the rewards, whether or not they are “attractive” or “ugly.”