This is interesting, I've always thought this was just due to a halo effect that attractive people get ranked as more intelligent and capable, but turns out that there is empirical basis for this.
The correlation coefficients reported in second article were 0.35 for women and 0.41 for men.
Sociologists and social psychologists have long known that there is a widespread perception shared by many people that physically attractive people are more intelligent and competent, as well as hold many other desirable characteristics. A large number of experiments over the years have shown that, when asked to rate the intelligence or competence of unknown others, people tend to rate attractive others as more intelligent and competent than unattractive others. *This sentiment is captured in an old aphorism “What is beautiful is good.” *But why is this? *Why do people believe that physically attractive people are more intelligent and competent?
While physical attractiveness is an integral part of mate selection, the evidence suggests that concerns for mate selection are not the reason people think that beautiful people are more intelligent. First, children as young as kindergarteners share the perception that beautiful people are more competent. *Asked to choose between two teachers, one more physically attractive than the other, many kindergarteners prefer the more attractive teacher because they believe she is more competent and nicer. *Second, more importantly, among adults, the common perception holds both within and between the sexes. Not only do men believe that more attractive women are more intelligent and women believe more attractive men are more intelligent, but men also believe that more attractive men are more intelligent and women also believe that more attractive women are more intelligent. Since 5-year-olds are typically not concerned with mate selection, and since most people are heterosexual, these two pieces of evidence suggest that there is more going on than concerns of mate selection.
Sociologists and social psychologists, convinced (and politically predisposed to believe) that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “beauty is only skin-deep,” dismiss this widespread perception as “bias,” stereotype,” or “halo effect,” with the implicit assumption that the perception is not accurate and has no factual basis. *It is a stereotype that beautiful people are more intelligent. *But, as I explain in an earlier post, virtually all stereotypes are empirically true; if they were not true, they would not be stereotypes in the first place. *And it turns out that this one is no exception. *People believe beautiful people are more intelligent, because they in fact are.
As I explain in earlier posts, both intelligence and physical attractiveness are correlated with sex; men on average are slightly more intelligent than women, and women on average are physically more attractive than men. *So it is important to see what the association between physical attractiveness and intelligence looks like within each sex. *The following two graphs reproduce the association separately for each sex.
The graphs show that the association is no longer monotonic among either women or men, but the general positive association still holds for both sexes. *“Very attractive” women are on average more intelligent than “very unattractive” women by about 6 IQ points. *Similarly, “very attractive” men are on average more intelligent than “very unattractive” men by about 8 IQ points.
So it appears that the “stereotype” that beautiful people are more intelligent appears to be true empirically, just as virtually all “stereotypes” are. *But now the question is: *Why? *Why are beautiful people more intelligent? *I will address this question in my next post.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...intelligent-iiBeautiful people have higher intelligence than ugly people, especially if they are men.
In a previous post, I show, using an American sample from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, that physically more attractive people are more intelligent. As I explain in a subsequent post, the association between physical attractiveness and intelligence may be due to one of two reasons. Genetic quality may be a common cause for both (such that genetically healthier people are simultaneously more beautiful and more intelligent). Alternatively, the association may result from a cross-trait assortative mating, where more intelligent and higher status men of greater resources marry more beautiful women. Because both intelligence and physical attractiveness are highly heritable, their children will be simultaneously more beautiful and more intelligent. Regardless of the reason for the association, the new evidence suggests that the association between physical attractiveness and general intelligence may be much stronger than we previously thought.
... attractive NCDS respondents are significantly more intelligent than unattractive NCDS respondents. Attractive NCDS respondents have the mean IQ of 104.23, whereas unattractive NCDS respondents have the mean IQ of 91.81. The difference between them is 12.42. This mean difference implies a correlation coefficient of r = .381, which is reasonably large in any survey data.
By pure coincidence, the correlation between physical attractiveness and intelligence in NCDS is exactly the same, down to the third decimal point, as the correlation between intelligence and education. Both correlations are .381. Everybody knows that intelligence and education are very highly correlated. What they don’t know is that physical attractiveness is equally highly correlated with intelligence as education is. ...
As the following two graphs show, the association between physical attractiveness and intelligence is stronger among men than among women. In the NCDS sample, the attractive women have a mean IQ of 103.64, and the unattractive women have a mean IQ of 92.25. The difference between them is 11.39. This mean difference implies a correlation coefficient of r = .351.
In contrast, the attractive men in the NCDS sample have a mean IQ of 105.00, and the unattractive men have a mean IQ of 91.39. The difference between them is 13.61, which is almost one full standard deviation in the IQ distribution (σ = 15). This mean difference implies a correlation coefficient of r = .414, which is very large in any survey data.