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Posted January 14, Reviewed by Jessica Schrader. Women are attracted to men who are altruistic and good-looking.
So, if you had to choose, what would be more important to you—a partner who is helpful or one who's handsome? To find out, Daniel Farrelly, a psychologist at the University of Worcester in the UK, tested the preferences of more than heterosexual women. He showed the women pairs of photographs of men. Each pair consisted of a handsome man and a less-than-attractive one, each labeled with a letter.
While looking at the pair of men, researchers prompted the women to imagine a scenario in which the two men played a part. Man S and Man T are both at a picnic beside a river that has a fast current when they see being swept down the river, gasping for breath.
A woman cries, "Help! Save my child! On the other hand, S sees the speed of the current and chooses not to try to help. Man F pretends to use his mobile phone and walks straight past the homeless person. Man O and Man P both go clothes shopping. O decides to buy a green jacket and P buys a pair of blue jeans. This was the control condition: Buying a jacket instead of a pair of jeans tells us nothing about which man is more altruistic. Altruism appears to be valuable at a premium: Non-altruistic men were less attractive than physically unappealing men, and altruistic men were more attractive than handsome men.
Perhaps altruism only appears to be more valuable than good looks because of the types of scenarios Farrelly used. Farrelly also found that selfish, non-altruistic men were more appealing as short-term than long-term partners. Perhaps women see these men as stereotypical bad boys, always looking out for One. Past research suggests that women prefer "c" to "d" when seeking a casual hookup.
For an audio version of this story, see the 12 January episode of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Support Rob at patreon.
Farrelly, D. Evolutionary Psychology, 14 1. Robert Burriss, Ph. He produces The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Worry is driven by mood, not logic. Anxiety holds your deepest yearnings. And you can subdue it for good. Three experts turn everything you know about anxiety inside out. Robert P. Burriss Ph. Attraction, Evolved. New research on who is sought for one-night stands and long-term relationships.
References Farrelly, D. About the Author. Online: RobertBurriss. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting.
View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Back Magazine. September A Sigh of Relief Worry is driven by mood, not logic. Back Today. Essential Re.Good looking man needed
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