Thursday, February 1, 2018

Physical beauty, social mobility, and optimistic dispositions

Things are looking up: Physical beauty, social mobility, and optimistic dispositions. R. Urbatsch. Social Science Research, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.01.006

Abstract: Physical attractiveness tends to inspire friendlier reactions and more positive evaluations from others, so that the beautiful are likelier to succeed across many kinds of endeavors. Does this history of success lead to a more optimistic, hopeful attitude? Evidence from the 2016 General Social Survey and the 1972 National Election Study suggests that it often does: those whom interviewers rate as better-looking tend to report higher expectations that life will turn out well for them, and show signs of greater upward social mobility. Since optimism is itself an important contributor to success in many social endeavors, these findings suggest an understudied mechanism by which beauty leads to better life outcomes, as well as a means by which social interactions may shape personal dispositions.

Keywords: Attractiveness; Optimism; Hope; Status