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Are Pretty People More Selfish? Study Says Yes

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The Huffington Post   First Posted: 08/15/11 08:45 PM ET Updated: 10/15/11 06:12 AM ET

If your ideal partner is one who is "classically beautiful," you might want to watch out for a hidden selfish streak, a new study suggests.

As the Guardian reports, a news study found that people born with symmetrical facial features -- often considered a component of physical attractiveness -- were more likely than people with less symmetrical features to focus on their own interests instead of co-operating with others.

Researchers Santiago Sanchez-Pages and Enrique Turiegano, of the University of Barcelona, Madrid and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, respectively, based their findings on a simple test given to participants. According to the Guardian,

Two players were each given the option of being a 'dove' and co-operating for the greater good; or a 'hawk,' taking the selfish option, with a chance of gaining more if the other player chose 'dove' and co-operated.

The researchers then analyzed 15 "facial landmarks," such as the positions of participants' eyes, and found that participants with symmetrical features were less likely to cooperate than those who didn't, the Daily Mail reported.

The Indian Express noted that evolution might be to blame:

Earlier studies have suggested that individuals with symmetrical faces tend to suffer fewer congenital diseases and therefore make better potential mating partners. As a result, the studies suggest, they are more self-sufficient and have less need for seeking the help of others.

Sanchez-Pages and Turiegano said that the findings could potentially influence the design of public policies, the publications reported.

They will present the results of the study to a group of Nobel laureates at a conference in Lindau, Germany at the end of August, the Guardian reports.

Here's Dr. Sylvia Gearing discussing how "attractiveness" can affect a person's daily life.

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