The trait is also linked to being happier, having more confidence and better physical health.
Generous people are rated as more physically attractive by others, research finds.
All kinds of generous acts are effective, from giving up time for charitable causes to just giving affection to others.
The researchers call it the ‘good-looking giver effect’.
It is one more benefit of being helpful and giving to others that researchers have discovered.
Generous people are already known to be happier, have more confidence and even be in better physical health.
Dr Sara Konrath, the study’s first author, said:
“Poets and philosophers have suggested the link between moral and physical beauty for centuries.
This study confirms that people who are perceived as more attractive are more likely to give and givers are seen as more attractive.”
The conclusions come from three large studies, two of which followed participants from adolescence into adulthood.
The results revealed a two-way relationship between giving and attractiveness.
People who are more attractive are also more generous, the study found.
It disproves a common misconception that good-looking people are more selfish — in fact, the reverse is true.
Professor Femida Handy, study co-author, said:
“Although we cannot fully explain why the link between giving behaviors and attractiveness exists, we find remarkable consistency across the three studies, despite being conducted at different times, using different participants, and using different methods and measures.”
People already spend a lot of money on beauty products and cosmetic surgery.
Could good deeds become the latest beauty trend, asks Dr Konrath:
“Our findings suggest that beauty products and procedures may not be the only way to enhance an individual’s attractiveness.
Perhaps being generous could be the next beauty trend.”
The study was published in the journal Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (Konrath & Handy, 2020).
Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.
This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.