At last – here is the reason why your deal/negotiation/proposal fell flat on its face: you’re not beautiful enough. This is one of the findings of a piece of research carried out by Zhejiang University in China. The research reveals that men are more likely to accept an offer from an attractive woman even if the offer is an unfair one. The presence of beauty overrides the brain’s response to fairness and arouses the reward centres of the brain, a response that is linked to a subconscious, behavioural trait rooted in male evolution. Read on to learn more about the research.
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To understand the role of attractiveness in social interactions the researchers invited a group of 21 men to view images of 300 women, with whom the students were unfamiliar. The participants were students aged 18-26 years. The images of the women had already been rated as attractive or unattractive prior to the study (half were rated as attractive and half as unattractive).
The participants were invited to play a computer game in which they were presented with some of the women whose images they had previously viewed. The study comprised three segments, and each segment featured 50 attractive and 50 unattractive images.
As part of the computer game, the men had to choose whether to accept a proposal from the women to share a sum of money. To record their choice – accept or reject - participants were given a keypad. At the same time, the researchers monitored the participants’ brain wave patterns and response times and recorded these. Both “unfair” and “fair” offers were presented by the women to the participants.
The study hypothesised a bias towards accepting fair offers from beautiful women, and that the presence of beauty would lessen participants’ disappointment over unfair deals and lessen any inclination to “punish” unfair proposals.
The study found that the men were more likely to go with an unfair offer when it came from a beautiful woman. So the researchers’ hypothesis was pretty much spot-on.
The men also responded more quickly to fair offers from the attractive women than to the unattractive women and they hesitated more when offers from attractive women were unfair. Brain patterns indicated that the men had a greater sensitivity to unfair offers from unattractive women, but experienced greater “reward” from the attractive women.
“The perceived attractiveness of the proposers could facilitate the subjects’ reaction process toward a fair offer and could also induce a struggle as to whether to accept an unfair offer.”
We have racism and sexism; now we can add ‘lookism’ the list of ‘isms’. Numerous studies have found that there is a life-long advantage to being beautiful. One report, for example, revealed that people rate attractive people higher in intelligence and potential for success, which invariably makes for a self-fulfilling prophecy. Guess who ends up with the higher wage packets?
This study is just another nail in the coffin for those of us not blessed with a “beauty premium”. Where do we go from here? In search of a cosmetic surgeon who can transform us into Kim Kardashian or some other smouldering sexpot?
See Also: 7 Secrets of The Eternally Beautiful
Are you surprised by the findings of this study? Have you, in your life, noticed that it’s the beautiful people who seem to find success in life? Add your comments to the box below.