Generous people are hotter. Science says so

Paul McCartney was onto something when he sang, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Generosity might make you seem more attractive, according to a new study published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. The study, co-authored by Indiana University associate professor Sara Konrath and University of Pennsylvania professor Femida Handy, confirms some common notions of beauty while refuting others.

Over three large studies that focused on different ages, Konrath and Handy asked two major questions: Are people who practice more giving behaviors rated as more physically attractive? And are more physically attractive people more likely to practice these giving behaviors?

The study noted “the halo effect wherein more physically attractive people are perceived to be good, and the reverse halo that good is seen as beautiful. Yet research has rarely examined the evidence linking the beautiful with the good, or the reverse, without the halo effect.”

According to futurity.org, which highlights research from top universities, this new study had participants rate physical attractiveness without any info about the giving behaviors of those being rated. This helped researchers determine the true correlation between physical attractiveness and charitable acts. And the correlation was strong.

According to Konrath, this new study has real value because it challenges the notion that physically attractive people are inherently more vain.

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Photo by Stewardship – Transforming Generosity