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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Psychology: Are Beauty and IQ related?





A study in England conducted by researchers at the London School of Economics found that attractive men and women generally have higher IQs. "Physical attractiveness is significantly positively associated with general intelligence," said LSE lead researcher Satoshi Kanazawa, in the latest issue of the journal Intelligence (download the full study here). The study indicated attractive men have IQs that are 13.6 points above the average, while beautiful women are 11.4 points higher than average. 


However, Ph.D., Todd Miller does not agree with those conclusions, and has written a rebuttal to the study that you can find here.


We tend to believe more Todd Miller's arguments. In any case, in chess, success comes mostly from hard work and determination.


What's your take on the story and the rebuttal?







Labels: ,

70 Comments:

  • At July 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM , Blogger Greg Galanter said...

    There is a third possibility - the teachers focus more on the "attractive" students, and give them a leg up as a result.

     
  • At July 1, 2012 at 10:53 PM , Anonymous Amit Tewari, India said...

    i think the whole idea is that you look good because of better genetics so automatically you are more intelligent. In fact that's what it's all about from Darwin to Hitler from Science to healthcare - better human race. The key is DNA.

     
  • At July 1, 2012 at 11:08 PM , Anonymous chris, ny said...

    Beauty is skin deep - cliched but true

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 5:43 AM , Anonymous Kalle Virtanen said...

    Intelligence = beaty

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 7:13 AM , Anonymous jason bourne, LA said...

    what about dumb but pretty blondes

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 8:16 AM , Anonymous alexis cochran, nz said...

    I suppose beautiful people may have more success but that does not mean they are more intelligent - really looks have got nothing to do with how you think what your training background is and how you have worked on honing a particular skill.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 8:27 AM , Anonymous sebastian wolff, ny said...

    I am not sure if I got the discussion right actually - are we co-relating beauty with intelligence or beauty with intelligence-related success. I am very sure no co-relation could possibly exist between all the three because beauty is a physical aspect, intelligence is a material one, and success is a social one.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM , Anonymous Keith Menonza, Sri Lanka said...

    the more beautiful women are the more dumb the more good looking a man the more sharp and if he not good looking then he is more emotionally stable.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM , Anonymous Hassan said...

    The two are related, obviously ! Just as good looks and Elo ratings, just look at the gallery of the World Champs.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Abdul G. Gufran, Cairo said...

    Hello Chess Blog, I write from the traditional and beautiful historic city of the great pharos of the city of Cairo. I believe in deep surety that beauty and grooming are two things. If you are physically good blessed by nature but not groom properly it is no use but like the ancients of our land if you are looking average but you take care you look good. presentation becomes important. then once you feel good look good then your mental idea are stronger and flowing more creatively and you have great confidence so automatically you are more successful and society thinks if you are more successful then you are sure to be more intelligent. Thank you for giving me space to give my views.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 9:31 AM , Anonymous Karthik Sinha, Mumbai, India said...

    Has anyone ever heard the answers given at Ms Universe and Ms World or national beauty pageants? Check them out. !!! The debate would be answered immediately.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 9:34 AM , Anonymous Terrence Jones, London said...

    Beauty and the Beast - who was more intelligent to choose more correct in each other?

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM , Anonymous kara, Cape Town said...

    @keith menonza what a funny reply men get positives whether good looking or not. However IQ has nothing to do with looks. Some people are truly lucky to have both. But someone with good IQ can improve their looks. Someone with great looks is unlikely to be able to improve their IQ!

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous Lara Croft, Maryland said...

    how can there be any corealtion between beauty and IQ - NO RELATION. Pointless debate. Sorry I might sound critical.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous George Santos, Spain said...

    Definitely inversely proportional. some exceptions to the rule but for majority yes. if you are good looking you are intelligent. It is just Natural human race can do nothing about it.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous serena bragarty, new york said...

    it depends upon how obsessed one is with their looks because ultimately looks fade away so maybe in youth a person can be good looking with a low iq but they can improve their iq and when they become old their iq is good.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM , Anonymous Edgar Matthews, New Jersey said...

    People with higher IQ tend to be aware of how to make the best of their looks (to highlight their personality properly and effectively in social situations). This is the modern where there is lot of awareness about cosmetics, fitness, looks, etc. So intelligent people make the best of their looks. People with high IQ - even if not very good looking by birth - make themselves look more compelling because of the effectiveness of looking good in public life. We could compare results if we had some research conducted in the pre-1940 era. Where no enhancements were possible for looks or intelligence. IQ can be improved and looks can be improved so we never know. How many very intelligent actresses look awesome but were never born that way?

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM , Anonymous Yasmeen Haider, Islamabad, Pakistan said...

    illogical question - absolutely NO CORELATION - commercial society propagates such ideas. we must protect our young girls from any such ideas. we must build a human race of self worth first. How many Olmpics champions in athletes and physical sports - football, cricket, skating, athletics, etc. play chess? or could write a paper on medieval history. London Olympics is round the corner and most of the participants are really good looking. Let's have an IQ test at the London Olympics 2012. The answers would be clear enough. We would also have a similar test at the Istanbul Chess Olympiad. Results would then surely show something.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 11:56 AM , Anonymous S Mahadev, Pune said...

    @Amit I go with him. It's DNA that gives both. Sometimes DNA is more generous to someone than others. The formula varies. There cannot be a generalisation that beauty comes with higher IQ.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous symeonis, thessaloniki, said...

    Does anyone have an IQ survey of the Greek Gods of Olympus? ;) How come all the beautiful people of Europe are not able to save the euro downslide?

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous symeonis, thessaloniki, said...

    Hey I just noticed you put up a main banner with Skripchenko and Kosteniuk photo inviting comments to the debate! Listen if you want a fair debate without influencing everyone's opinion please remove that photo.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM , Anonymous Kevin, NJ said...

    Let's accept it - even the boss wants to see the pretty new intern as soon as possible. Who are we kidding. Every heard of an ugly secretary being successful - male or female!

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM , Anonymous Jaish, Istanbul said...

    anyone name one successful celebrity person who is ugly? none!

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 12:44 PM , Anonymous Anastasia, St Petersburg said...

    Beautiful people have to work double hard to prove that they are intelligent because the general opinion is that pretty girls are dumb thanks to whoever started the blonde jokes. Chess is just toil and tears and toil every single game. You could look like a million bucks, your opponent is going to be awestruck, but only till the first move is made. After that he will suck every ounce of energy and leave no pawn unturned to beat you.

    Moreover a guy is never lenient to a pretty girl who plays chess. He might be a little sympathetic to someone not looking too good, but never to a pretty girl.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Prof. J.S. Mahrouf, Dhaka said...

    Prof. J.S. Mahrouf, Dhaka - First, I must congratulate Ms Alexandra Kosteniuk for this chess news and views page. Chess was a passion for me. However, practical life took me towards research.

    Very interesting topic. I have read all the relevant papers, the links, and views of the eminent readers of this blog.

    My comments:

    1- When discussing this question we must take the middle class. Let us leave out celebrities or the downtrodden.

    2- Cultural and socio-economic issues are very important. A very good looking person - above average - might not be able to succeed in a society ridden with problems no matter how good his IQ.

    3- Beauty is partially god-gift and partially developed. IQ is partially god-gift and partially developed. (I repeat we are not taking into account the upper layer and the bottom layer of surveyed participants denoted as 'privilege class'

    4- Success in the modern society scenario across the world is purely a social mechanics involving money, right connections, links, tempered with some amount of hard work.

    Sportspeople cannot be included in this discussion as they have to consistently upgrade and outperform opponents who are trying to improve as well.

    Best wishes to the world chess champion from the Russian Federation who has no doubt scaled the heights of chess success by pure hard work. I am honoured to take part in this discussion.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM , Anonymous anonymous said...

    Myth: IQ Is the Chief Measure of a Child's Ability to Be Effective and Successful at School and in Adult Life

    success beauty IQ all three unrelated

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM , Anonymous sbidu, philippines said...

    Society is mentally geared thus - women must be lookers men thinkers. good looking women are more successful than average, higher IQ men are more successful than average.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Robyn Hode said...

    A few comments...

    First, the title of this article should be Are Beauty and IQ related?

    Second, Alexandra is beautiful and intelligent, so that lends credence to the article.

    Third, I am handsome, yet quite stupid, thereby denying the second part of my second point.

    :)

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM , Anonymous MTW, Tokyo said...

    In Nature's eyes Beauty and IQ are unrelated. In modern consumerism they got related.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 3:20 PM , Anonymous Jagdish Sharma, Holy City of Benaras, Uttar Pradesh, India said...

    Everything is karma even the hair on the head are numbered. It is all destiny. Man is a puppet. Someone else makes the moves. The power is Om, not man. Om Shivay Namah.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 3:27 PM , Anonymous sebastian said...

    Sorry i meant intelligence is a mental one

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM , Anonymous Alexandra Kosteniuk Ardent Lover said...

    I'd rather be hot, sexy, and good looking than einstein with beastly looks.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM , Anonymous jen, ny said...

    Am sure a supermodel wouldnt be a great history teacher for 16 year olds but yes its true beauty attracts and is that not true about everything? Art literature love nature chess combinations flowers music . . .

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 5:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Beauty and brains is actually a rare combination. Usually Nature balances out. But some superior beings do walk this earth they have a special contribution to make a special destiny to fulfill. Success could happen to someone of low iq. It could also happen to someone not good looking. When it happens to a rare individual who has both beauty and brains then it is dazzling. But hard work would be involved it is mandatory. Some great looking people with above avg intelligence also fail.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Not a this way or that way easy question. Several factors are involved. Good looking people have it easy in one two first impressions after that its only hard work that counts

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 10:53 PM , Anonymous Kelly said...

    Am confused really but overall i do agree better looking people have it easy more friends more people wanna talk at least that is there.

     
  • At July 2, 2012 at 11:28 PM , Anonymous Mbuga, Cape Town said...

    another study triggered by cosmetics giants multinationals companies trying to sell products cosmetic surgery etc? Really!

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 12:27 AM , Anonymous Jiu Lin, Beijing said...

    情人眼里出西施 In lovers’ eyes beauty is produced.

    So IQ has nothing to do with beauty.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 1:31 AM , Anonymous Stefan, Paris said...

    http://www.economist.com/node/21526782

    Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, has long written about “pulchronomics”. In “Beauty Pays” he reckons that, over a lifetime and assuming today’s mean wages, a handsome worker in America might on average make $230,000 more than a very plain one. There is evidence that attractive workers bring in more business, so it often makes sense for firms to hire them. Whether rewarding them accordingly—and paying their less attractive peers more stingily—is good for society is another matter.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 2:13 AM , Anonymous Cathy Figg, Las Vegas said...

    how is this discussion related to chess?

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 2:17 AM , Anonymous Pierre, Avignon said...

    It is possible to make concession for IQ if compensated by beauty in personal matters. Of course if the variance is too much then it might be a problem. A pretty and slightly dumb wife is better than a high IQ wife who puts you off.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 4:18 AM , Anonymous Natasha Sinha, Colombo said...

    Beauty has its advantages. definitely.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 4:21 AM , Anonymous darth vadar said...

    A person's appearance is very important. It highlights his IQ. First impressions are important. Of value of IQ cannot be ruled out totally but first impressions are very important. IQ is not much use if without beauty.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 4:21 AM , Anonymous darth vadar said...

    Love at first sight is not a myth

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 5:13 AM , Blogger Craig Berger said...

    Whether it's true or not, the rebuttal is terrible. His main argument is that you shouldn't trust the research because it is preliminary, but that is totally ad hominem, it says nothing about the validity of the study or it's methods. Later he suggests that the research could be skewed because some intelligent rich people may use plastic surgery to make themselves more beautiful, but the study clearly states it was done on children! I highly doubt many 7 or 11 year olds are getting plastic surgery, never mind that the author assumes a connection between intelligence and wealth that is not established. Is this person really a PhD? Did they read the study? The only thing I really agreed with was the fact that the standard IQ test is kind of bs and might not be a truly effective measure of intelligence.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 5:31 AM , Anonymous Jeremy Parks, New Jersey said...

    are we as a human race guilty about looking good and being attracted to the attractive?

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 5:42 AM , Anonymous Arlene Thomas, Manchester said...

    @craig - totally agree

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 6:27 AM , Anonymous Katherine (not Zeta Jones) said...

    slightly above average IQ + super looks = I believe

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 8:31 AM , Anonymous Asna Zaheer, Muscat said...

    Let's face the truth appearances do matter and somewhat cover up for slight lack in intelligence.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous Seema Bhatnagar, New Delhi said...

    nature and nurture come into play - so the final product is what you make of what good genes have given you. we all want to be more attractive more intelligent. it's an individual choice. not everyone gets dazzled by beauty. however it is true that more people the majority gets dazzled by beauty therefore it seems they do well at jobs and promotions. however, people with better iq but bad looks learn to look beyond such societal preferences and prefer to do their own thing despite the struggle.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 9:05 AM , Anonymous Sarah, Madrid said...

    there is no relation between amount of beauty and amount of intelligence. both can be developed up to an individual limit. both decline with age. society generally tends to attach more importance to beauty.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM , Anonymous Thomas Windsor, California said...

    Being good at chess does not mean better IQ though probability is more

    Being beautiful does not mean dumb though probability is more

    Being with high IQ does not mean average looks and the probability is not defined

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM , Anonymous NSP, Athens said...

    "Researchers found that attractive men and women generally have higher IQs."

    That is because higher IQ is somehow contributing to the attractiveness. It's the other way Did they research whether higher IQ people are generally attractive or less attractive?

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 10:48 AM , Anonymous Julie Bentley, Ontario said...

    People with higher IQ tend to be more aware of themselves, their environment, the world so they improve their attractiveness.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous George Santos, Spain said...

    no relation possible between beauty and IQ.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 11:56 AM , Anonymous Smirney, Jamaica said...

    I go with the Muller rebuttal all the way.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Stieg M, Sweden said...

    I agree with Yasmeen Haider, Islamabad, Pakistan - Let's have new surveys at the London Olympics and the Istanbul Chess Olympiad this year. Am sure the results would prove which study is right.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 12:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People are More Successful. By Daniel Hamermesh. Princeton University Press; 216 pages; $24.95 and £16.95.

     
  • At July 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM , Anonymous Jeff, Frankfurt said...

    Throughout human race we have not had any two individuals who are copies of each other. I am totally against generalisations of any kind. Mass studies mass research religion cults such researches are against the spirit of individualism should be stopped

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 4:11 AM , Anonymous Justin Chengshun, Beijing said...

    we all like to have a good looking person around in office at home at the club so maybe first impression-wise good looking people are more successful in making friends, impressing the job interview panel etc but their IQ level would vary as much as those in the group of any other people. How can IQ be related to beauty? Maybe success is to an extent related to beauty but not IQ. Individuals like some of the best women chess players of our world are just blessed to have both beauty and IQ.

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 4:27 AM , Anonymous Sydney Williams, Johannesburg said...

    It's a myth that pretty women have it easy. It's more difficult. If you make a mistake people are quick to point out oh pretty dumb. you are not evaluated for your intellectual strengths correctly. most times you want the person to hear you not just keep staring at you.

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 5:20 AM , Anonymous Carlos Marcel, Mexico said...

    it's an asset to be good looking in both professional and personal life. IQ even average is good enough to get by for success.

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 5:46 AM , Anonymous Imran Owais Qadri, Muscat said...

    Such a question can only be asked in Western society where emphasis is more on sexuality. True Muslim countries do not face any such dispute. Looks do not matter at all. It is IQ, piety, and truthfulness that are essential for success.

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 7:10 AM , Anonymous Genelia Shaw Murphy, Miami said...

    A beauty and brains together in one person is a very rare combination that is why it is coveted. The world's top-IQ people would hardly be able to walk the ramp. The world's best super models might fail at an intellectual lecture.

    That is why chess players come the closest to being those with a combination of good looks and brains. Indeed people who have a high intelligence and great looks the likes of Magnus Carlsen Alexandra Kosteniuk are rare - very rare.

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 7:39 AM , Anonymous Maira Sarfaraz, Pakistan said...

    mostly very good looking people are dumb it is as if nature is compensating. usually the highly intelligent are not that impressive looks wise. we don't need a research to assess that it's a clear truth we all know. the ones who have both beauty and brains are VERY FEW. Good looking or having a pleasing personality of course makes a difference in social interactions hence such individuals appear to be more successful professionally.

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why don't we have a poll among the world's best scientists and the world's top women grandmasters (the pretty ones)

     
  • At July 4, 2012 at 6:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    now i understand why Moro is more attractive than Carlito !

     
  • At July 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM , Anonymous Todd Miller said...

    It appears a few readers misunderstood what they read in regards to my story.

    I said the methodology used in the study yields results that most researchers consider to be preliminary at best. That is, the methodology doesn't yield definitive results.

    I said the study assessed beauty in part by asking whether the children appeared to be clean or not which indicates that I read the study. I didn't state the study results were flawed because the wealthy children had plastic surgery.

    I didn't assume there is a correlation between wealth and IQ. Actually, I cited research which shows there is no correlation between wealth and IQ.


    Anyone can determine whether or not someone has a PhD by looking them up in the dissertation abstracts database. They can also go to the USCF rating database to determine that I am also a chess master who doesn't play quite so well or so often as I used to.

     
  • At July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    and thus why Carlsen is stronger than Morito !

     
  • At January 9, 2013 at 3:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hardly, people with natural intelligence usually develop that in an isolated environment, or at least a very selective one. Furthermore, said intelligent individuals often times lack respect for the teacher because of their superior intelligence.

     

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