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Creativity Makes You Seem More Attractive

21 April 2017

From The Atlantic:

Dos Equis’s most Interesting Man in the World ran a marathon just because it was on his way, is both left- and right-handed, and is fluent in all the world’s languages, including three that he alone speaks. The character was, until recently, played by a 70-something, little-known actor named Jonathan Goldsmith, whose earlier claim to fame was selling waterless car-wash products. And yet he—or at least his persona—was undeniably enticing.

According to a new paper published in Royal Society Open Science, the appeal of average-looking Interesting Men, both real and fictional, might be all in their interestingness.

. . . .

[Study participants were shown photos of an attractive or less-attractive female face or an attractive or less-attractive male face]

Each image was paired with a short story based on the painting The Lovers by René Magritte. The stories were written such that they were either creative—“even if you are in a relationship with someone, perhaps you don’t know how this person really is”—or unoriginal—“It seems they have white cloth/pillowcases over their heads to blind them from their environment.” The participants were told the people in the photos wrote the stories, and then asked to judge how attractive they were.

Though the subjects always thought the physically more handsome men were more attractive, the more creative men seemed more attractive than the uncreative ones. But creativity did nothing to enhance the women’s attractiveness in the subjects’ eyes.

Next, a new group of study participants were shown similar photos alongside descriptions of things to do with a car tire—some of which were creative (making a Loch Ness Monster sculpture) and some of which weren’t (using it as a seat.) With the explanation that the people in the photos came up with the tire uses, participants were told to rate their attractiveness.

Again, creativity made the average-looking men, but not women, appear more seductive. The results showed creativity was more of a boon to the men with less-attractive faces.

Across the study’s three trials, just one showed any attractiveness benefit of creativity in women.

Link to the rest at The Atlantic

For the record, Mrs. PG is quite creative and PG finds her very attractive.

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4 Comments to “Creativity Makes You Seem More Attractive”

  1. Imagine the try-outs for the photo shoot: “Congratulations. You have been selected to be the test’s less-attractive woman.”

  2. How’d that old joke go?

    ‘The average girl would rather have beauty than brains because she knows the average man can see much better than he can think. — Ladies’ Home Journal

    Seems it’s not the same going the other way …

    Women, deceived by men, want to marry them; it is a kind of revenge as good as any other. — Philippe De Remi

  3. IIRC Mr. Goldsmith is a long-distance sailor in real life, including some of the round-the-world sailing races, which makes him quite interesting in his own right.

    • Yeah, they sold Goldsmith (also known professionally as Jonathan Lippe) a bit short. He guested on a zillion TV shows in the ’60s through the ’80s, everything from The FBI to St. Elsewhere to Dallas.

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