Want success by plastic surgery? Think again
More and more people are opting for plastic surgery. Even many students, many of them in senior middle school in the summer vacation, are opting for it because they believe by “improving” their appearance they can increase their competitiveness in the job market.
Experts and the media always warn youngsters who choose to undergo plastic surgery to be cautious and emphasize the importance of inner beauty, or the mind and soul. But many psychological experiments seem to support the assumption that “good-looking people are more likely to succeed than people with average looks”. People believe it is easier for “good-looking” people to get help, higher salaries, promotions and praise.
Evolutionary psychologists tend to interpret this as the eternal competition of “good genes”. Other researchers say people generally suppose good-looking people are nicer, sincerer and smarter than “ordinary-looking” people.
A study by the University of British Columbia, Canada, shows people tend to overestimate the competence of goodlooking people. In a job interview, if a candidate is good at execution as well as good looking, many employers tend to assume he/she will be better at execution. And according to a London School of Economics and Political Science study, “good-looking” men’s average IQ is 13.6 higher than that of “ordinary men” and “beautiful” women’s average IQ is 11.4 higher than “plain Janes”— and the result is not influenced by factors such as family background or health condition.
Despite this, we cannot conclude that good looks decide everything and that inner beauty is useless.
First, “getting more help” doesn’t equal “success”. A several-decades old tracing study in the US has recorded a group of people’s family backgrounds, mental and physical health, intimate relationships, relationships with offspring, and incomes from their college peri- od till their old age. Its results show a successful and happy life has nothing to do with status or fortune, but has something to do with “whether you love or are loved”. In other words, it is not a good job or good review that decides whether you have a good life or not.
Second, besides “primacy effect”, “recency effect” also plays a role in influencing people’s judgment. The first impression reflects primacy effect in social interaction, which has a significant impact on people’s judgment. In recency effect, people tend to make judgments on the latest information they get. The two effects exist together, which means a person has countless chances to revise his/ her impression after the first impression.
Third, interpersonal attraction doesn’t rely onlyongood looks. A study found that people generally suppose those with larger heightwidth ratio faces aremorereliable. Another study found the authoritativeness of CEOs’ appearance is positively correlated with their companies’ performance.
All these researchesshowthat in the complicatedhumansocial system, people are not judged only by their appearance, instead theyhave moreopportunities tomake their lives better. The author is a PhD candidate in psychology in Britain and the co-founder of online psychology organization yosumn.