A student’s good looks tend to play a role in their academic performance at school, according to a new research.
Conducted by economist Daniel Hamermesh of Barnard College and colleagues, the study reveals that a person whose looks are “one standard deviation above average” attains about 5 more months of schooling than an otherwise “identical average-looking individual”.
The study collated data from the U.S. Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development 1991 -2005 tracking children from 6 months to 15 years old and from the U.K. National Child Development Study which tracked 17,000 kids born in 1958.
The attractiveness of the students were then assessed by a group of undergraduates who watched segments of video interviews with the children and rated their looks on a scale of 1 (not at all cute/very unattractive) to 5 (very cute/very attractive).
For the U.K. study, the children’s looks were assessed by their teachers instead.
Unlike the undergraduates, these teachers allotted their students to one of the four categories: attractive, unattractive, “abnormal feature” or “underfed or scruffy and dirty.”
Thereafter, the researchers examined their academic performance through standardised tests to find a pattern emerging.
Other factors like family income, parents’ education, race and ethnicity, and gender were controlled.
Academic performance and behaviour problems
The research found that attractive students did academically better with higher reading and arithmetic scores than their average-looking peers.
The results also showed that attractive boys, in particular, did better than their female counterparts in terms of achievement levels.
But besides academic excellence, these students also tended to have fewer behavioural problems at school.
The researchers say this might be because unattractive students are more likely to be bullied by their peers leading to behavioural problems and a possible loss of interest in studies.
This is not the first time attractiveness has shown an impact on performance, another study also conducted by Hamermesh found that attractive adults enjoy advantages in hiring and earning.
However, regardless of the study and the impact of attractiveness, parents should still focus on values like hard work and perseverance as these will ultimately lead your kids to a better and more fulfilling life ahead.