Beautiful people more likely to be selfish

02:00 Thu Aug 18 2011
Beyonce Knowles has very symmetrical facial features.
Beyonce Knowles has very symmetrical facial features.

It might sound like the generalisation of the century, but a new study claims to have proven the link between physically attractive people and selfish personality traits.

According to the study's authors Santiago Sanchez-Pages and Enrique Turiegano, people with more symmetrical faces (which studies have shown are perceived as more attractive), are less likely to co-operate with others, and more likely to be self-interested.

In the study, two subjects at a time were asked if they wanted to be a 'dove' and co-operate for the greater good, or a 'hawk' with more to gain if the other person chose to co-operate.

When the participant's faces were then analysed, the researchers found people with more symmetrical (beautiful faces) were more likely to choose the selfish option.

Santiago Sanchez-Pages, who works at the universities of Barcelona and Edinburgh, and Enrique Turiegano, of the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, suggest the reason for this can be found in biology.

"As people with symmetrical faces tend to be healthier and more attractive, they are also more self-sufficient and have less of an incentive to co-operate and seek help from others," the authors wrote.

"Through natural selection over thousands of years, these characteristics continue to the present day."

The findings will be presented at the annual Nobel Laureate Meetings in Lindau, Germany this month.

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