Beautiful people are happier than less attractive people, according to a new study by University of Texas-Austin economists.
And interestingly the way that happiness is experienced in beautiful men and women differs considerably, saidDaniel Hamermesh in an interview with the Star.
Previous research has shown that beautiful people generally earn more money and are able to attract a better-looking and higher-earning spouse.
But in Hamermesh’s most recent study he has found many beautiful women are just happier because they are beautiful. “Beauty affects their happiness independent of its impact on their incomes, marriage prospects and other outcomes,” Hamermesh and his co-author Jason Abrevaya write in the study.
In men, the effect of beauty continues to be economic and indirect, he explained. Their attractiveness or beauty means they make more money or attract a beautiful spouse and that gives them increased happiness.
While most beautiful women also experience an economic benefit from their beauty. It is their beauty that gives them happiness. “It’s just the sheer fact of being good-looking, walking down the street and feeling good about your self,” he explained.
Hamermesh used data from surveys from four countries – Canada, the United States, Germany and Britain – in his study to determine life satisfaction or happiness and its relationship to beauty.
About 25,000 people were surveyed between 1971 and 2007. Interviewers asked them about their happiness and at the same time their attractiveness or beauty was ranked by interviewers face to face or by photographs.
Hamermesh didn’t know what to expect when he began analyzing the data. “I wanted to see if there was a relationship between happiness and beauty and we found this relationship,” he said. “That got us to think about what is causing this relationship and how it might differ across genders.”
According to the study, those who are considered the most attractive – in the top 15 per cent – are more than 10 per cent happier than those ranked in the bottom 10 per cent.
The study concludes that “among both men and women at least half of the increase in satisfaction/happiness generated by beauty is indirect.”