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Attractive People Earn Less; Healthy, Intelligent People Get Paid More

Update Date: Feb 17, 2017 09:14 AM EST
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Workers who are physically more attractive may earn more not because they are beautiful. (Photo : Ty Wright/Getty Images)

Healthy and intelligent people get paid more according to a new study. This opposes the result of the previous studies that attractive people has more cutting edge.

The new research titled "Is There Really a Beauty Premium or an Ugliness Penalty on Earnings," conducted by scientists from London School of Economics and University of Massachusetts, looks into the traits of workers across the United States.

The findings suggest that employers are more concerned with the health, intelligence and personality of their employees. The result also points out that the belief that ugly people get paid less is not a reality in a real workplace setting.

In the past, studies have suggested that beauty plays an important role at work. Attractive people were reported to earn more than the average person.

Satoshi Kanazawa, co-author of the study, said that workers who are physically more attractive may earn more not because they are beautiful. Rather, they get paid more because they are healthier, more intelligent and have better personality traits. These traits, including being more conscientious, more extroverted and less neurotic or being emotionally stable are conducive to higher earnings.

Interestingly, those who were seen as very unattractive always get paid more than those rated as only unattractive. Sometimes, the very unattractive ones get higher wages than those labelled as average looking or those considered as attractive.

Discrimination at work basing on the appearance of the worker will affect the productivity of the company. As the researcher wrote in their paper, whether the discrimination is intentional or accidental, it will affect the worker's efficiency and the company's productivity in the long run.

On the other hand, workers from a poorer background, regardless if they are deemed attractive or ugly, tend to earn less because they are less likely to ask for pay rises. Some exclude themselves from the promotion because they fear they will not fit in.

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