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Belief Listing Project: Attractiveness

August 24th, 2011
attractiveness, current_beliefs  [html]
More attractive people are perceived as smarter and nicer. They are paid ~13% more, voted for ~2x often, and ~2x less likely to go to jail [1]. This is a cognitive bias called the "halo effect", where a positive view of someone in one dimension (they're hot!) leads unconsiously to positive views in other dimensions (they're nice!).

We need to get ourselves to stop doing this. If we notice that we find someone attractive we should note that we're probably overestimating their other good qualities. Other things appearing to you to be equal, the less attractive job candidate is probably better.

[1] These statistics are from robert cialdini's "influence: science and practice" (which I read a while ago) via a big blockquote on less wrong.

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