Sabtu, 02 April 2011

Beauty Does What Money Can't

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Money may not buy happiness but beauty buys both money and happiness, according to a study involving more than 25,000 people worldwide.

Economists at the University of Texas-Austin analysed data from five large surveys conducted from 1971 to 2009 in the United States, Canada, Germany and Britain. They found that beautiful people are generally happier than the plain Jane or even ugly Joe.

And they say it's the economic benefit that results from beauty that accounts for at least half of that extra happiness. 'The majority of beauty's effect on happiness works through its impact on economic outcomes,' says lead author Daniel Hamermesh, who has studied attractiveness effects for many years.

Numerous studies, including his earlier research, have concluded beauty helps the budget by providing greater wealth: better-looking people generally earn more money and marry those who are better looking and higher earning.

In the new study, participants were asked about their levels of happiness; their looks were rated by interviewers face-to-face or from photos. Those in the top 15 per cent of people ranked by looks were more than 10 per cent happier than those in the bottom 10 per cent.

Although the findings - published by the German-based Institute for the Study of Labour - hold true for both sexes, the researchers say beauty affects women's happiness more directly than men's.

'For a woman, it just matters to walk down the street being good-looking,' Professor Hamermesh says.

'For a man… it will give you a better-looking wife, a higher-earning wife and, most important, extra earnings.'

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