Is being generous the next beauty trend?

August 31, 2020

It has long been known that giving can have positive effects on the person who is giving, such as an increase in happiness, confidence, and even physical health. But research from Indiana University has found there may be another potential implication of giving: physical attractiveness.

The IU study, published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, found that more attractive people are more likely to be givers, and givers are rated as more attractive.

"Poets and philosophers have suggested the link between moral and physical beauty for centuries," said study co-author Sara Konrath, who is an associate professor of philanthropic studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on sabbatical this year at Notre Dame's Institute for Advanced Study. "This study confirms that people who are perceived as more attractive are more likely to give and givers are seen as more attractive."

Konrath and study co-author Femida Handy, of the University of Pennsylvania, used three large studies, one that examined older adults at a single time, and two that started in late adolescence and followed participants for years--one of these studies followed participants as late as older adulthood. Konrath and Handy asked two research questions: Are individuals who undertake more giving behaviors rated as more physically attractive? And the reverse, are more physically attractive people more likely to undertake giving behaviors?

Those rating physical attractiveness had no information on participants' giving behaviors, allowing the researchers to determine if a person's giving behaviors correlated with physical attractiveness, without the halo effect of raters being influenced by knowing participants' giving behaviors.

When it comes to the older adults, volunteering and giving affection were related to higher attractiveness ratings. When it comes to young people, those who volunteered rated higher.

"Although we cannot fully explain why the link between giving behaviors and attractiveness exists, we find remarkable consistency across the three studies, despite being conducted at different times, using different participants, and using different methods and measures," Handy said.

The paper is important, Konrath said, because it disproves the perception that beautiful people are self-focused and vain. Instead, the studies found that being rated as a little more attractive was associated with a little more generosity. Furthermore, Konrath noted that people spend significant amounts of money on beauty products and cosmetic surgery to improve their looks, yet it is possible that doing good could help to draw inner beauty to the surface.

"Our findings suggest that beauty products and procedures may not be the only way to enhance an individual's attractiveness," Konrath said. "Perhaps being generous could be the next beauty trend."
-end-


Indiana University

Related Attractiveness Articles from Brightsurf:

Is being generous the next beauty trend?
Research from Indiana University found that more attractive people are more likely to be givers, and givers are rated as more attractive.

Unattainable standards of beauty for today's woman
While the average American woman's waist circumference and dress size has increased over the past 20 years, Victoria's Secret fashion models have become more slender, with a decrease in bust, waist, hips and dress size, though their waist to hip ratio (WHR) has remained constant.

Study finds companies may be wise to share cybersecurity efforts
Research finds that when one company experiences a cybersecurity breach, other companies in the same field also become less attractive to investors.

Kindness is a top priority in a long-term partner according to a new international study
One of the top qualities that we look for in a long-term partner is kindness, according to new research by Swansea University.

What do the red 'ornaments' of female macaques mean?
Scientists demonstrated that, contrary to what had been assumed for several years, colour variations among female macaques do not precisely indicate the time of ovulation.

Backed in black: How to get people to buy more produce
Researchers may have figured out the secret to get people to buy more fresh produce: dress veggies up in black.

Facial plastic surgery in men enhances perception of attractiveness, trustworthiness
In the first of a kind study, plastic surgeons at Georgetown University found that when a man chose to have facial plastic surgery, it significantly increased perceptions of attractiveness, likeability, social skills, or trustworthiness.

Is facial cosmetic surgery associated with perception changes for attractiveness, masculinity, personality traits in men?
Photographs of 24 men before and after facial cosmetic surgery were part of this survey study to examine whether surgery was associated with perceived changes in attractiveness, masculinity and a variety of personality traits.

Commentary asks: What constitutes beauty and how is it perceived?
Beauty has many facets. Research shows there are many biological, psychological, cultural and social aspects that influence how beauty and attractiveness are perceived.

Gender bias sways how we perceive competence in faces
Faces that are seen as competent are also perceived as more masculine, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Read More: Attractiveness News and Attractiveness Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.