You may want to think twice before pursuing that Brad Pitt look-alike.
Symmetrical-faced beauties like Mr. Pitt, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss and George Clooney may be pretty to look at, but according to a new study, they're also more likely to be selfish jerks.
According to The Daily Mail, researchers at Edinburgh University conducted a study to see if facial symmetry has anything to do with self-centered attitudes. They gave participants in their study the option to either be a "dove" and cooperate with others for shared benefit, or a "hawk," who had the chance to gain more if the other participant chose to be a dove.
Scientists then analyzed the features of the participants and found that men and women with symmetrical faces were more likely to have chosen the selfish "hawk" option. Shame, shame!
The team looked at the facial features of 292 people at the age of 83 who took part in the Lothian Birth Cohort from 1921, a study that followed the participants throughout their life. They analyzed 15 facial "landmarks," including the positions of the eyes, nose, mouth and ears, and were able to compare the facial symmetry of participants. Those with asymmetrical faces were more likely to be unhealthy and had deprived childhoods.
"As people with symmetrical faces tend to be healthier and more attractive, they're also more self-sufficient and have less of an incentive to cooperate and seek help from others," the study concluded.
Psychology professor Ian Deary explained, "Symmetry in the face is thought to be a marker of what is called developmental stability: the body's ability to withstand environmental stressors (stress factors) and not be knocked off its developmental path."
It's interesting that the stereotype has proven true in this case: Beautiful people do tend to be a tad more conceited. But still, I'd think twice before labeling someone I don't know as self-centered.
It's also intriguing that the study implies selfish people are healthier. Isn't it ultimately unhealthy to only care about yourself, because you'll end up alone?