Video: Why Does It Seem Like So Many Good-Looking People Are Jerks?

September 30, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

It’s a common experience in the world of online dating for people to develop the impression that good-looking people are disproportionately likely to be, well, jerks. Great face, nice body, terrible personality.

So why are there so many beautiful jerks? In the video below from our friends over at ASAP Science, mathematical principles are used to show that it might not be objectively true that good-looking people are more likely to be mean. Instead, we might be dealing with a perceptual bias here in which we’ve already filtered out all of the unattractive jerks–the people we don’t see as having any redeemable qualities–and this, in turn, makes it so that the only jerky people left to notice are good-looking. The end result is that we may mistakenly associate being good-looking with being mean. Check out the video below to learn more.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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