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Beautiful people ‘selfish by nature’

People blessed with symmetrical facial features are considered pretty are selfish about interests.

Written by Agencies | London |
August 14, 2011 4:23:01 pm

It’s a research which is likely to stir up an ugly debate in many families — beautiful people are selfish by nature.

A team of researchers from Barcelona University and the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain have found that people with symmetrical faces are more self-sufficient and they are also less likely to co-operate.

According to the study,people blessed with more symmetrical facial features,which are considered more pretty,are less likely to co-operate and more likely to selfishly focus on their own interests.

The team,led by Santiago Sanchez-Pages of Barcelona University and Enrique Turiegano of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid,has based its claims on the “prisoner’s dilemma” model of behaviour,played out under laboratory conditions.

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Two players were each given the option of being a “dove” and co-operating for the greater good; or a “hawk”,taking the selfish option,with a chance of gaining more if the other player chose “dove” and co-operated.

The subjects’ faces were then analysed. The study found that people with more symmetrical faces were less likely to co-operate and less likely to expect others to co-operate,A daily reported.

The explanation may be found in evolution. The two academics speculate that,on a subconscious level,people tend to view symmetrical physical attributes as a sign of good health and find people with them more attractive as a result.

Earlier studies have suggested that individuals with symmetrical faces tend to suffer fewer congenital diseases and therefore make better potential mating partners. As a result,the studies suggest,they are more self-sufficient and have less need for seeking the help of others.

The pair said: “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. Through natural selection over thousands of years,these characteristics continue to the present day.”

The researchers also examined the relationship between co-operation levels and exposure to hormone testosterone during development. Testosterone is usually associated with aggressive behaviour.

But the authors suggest this is only a partial truth and that testosterone can promote co-operative behaviour. They said: “Subjects exposed to higher levels of testosterone during foetal development did not co-operate less than the rest and even co-operated more than subjects with average levels. It seems that leading co-operation and not necessarily obtaining a higher individual profit are seen by some as a source of status.”

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