Posts tagged with "The Daily Mail UK"

Study: It’s men who benefit most from their looks—both in the workplace and socially

November 23, 2023

It’s an outdated idea that women only rise in the workplace because of their looks. And perhaps a new study will put that attitude to bed, reports The Daily Mail UK.

Researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences examined data on over 11,000 Americans over 20 years—from adolescence through adulthood—including ratings of their looks, information on their educational and career achievement, and their earnings.

They found that people who were rated as more attractive at age 15 were more likely to surpass their parents in earnings and achievements once they had reached their 30s. This effect was much stronger for men than it was for women, especially in the area of education.

Experts have argued that, from an evolutionary perspective, looking attractive can be a sign that someone is a suitable, fit, disease-free partner. And beyond that, people tend to rate conventionally attractive people as more intelligent, trustworthy, and talented.

In the new study, researchers set out to explore the material effects of these supposed biases. To do this, they pulled data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health for short), a long-term study following about 20,000 people from adolescence into adulthood. Some dropped out over time, so the new study includes data on 11,583 people.

These figures include physical health data, demographic information, socioeconomic data—and, oddly, ratings of physical attractiveness.

Study participants came in every few years to answer questions for Add Health.

At each visit, interviewers were asked to rate participants on their attractiveness—on a five point scale ranging from “’very unattractive” to “very attractive.”

Interviewers didn’t receive specific instructions on the criteria they should use to rate participants. But since studies have shown that multiple observers tend to agree on ratings of a person’s attractiveness, the Add Health ratings probably give an accurate picture of how people view each volunteer.

The team behind the study looked at how interviewers had rated participants’ looks when they came in for the first visit as teenagers, to how their lives had progressed about 20 years later.

Physical attractiveness at age 15 made a significant difference 20 years later, even after researchers took into account other factors that are known to have effects on a person’s socioeconomic status—things like childhood health, neighborhood conditions, and parents’ socioeconomic position.

This research aimed to look at how someone’s aesthetic appeal impacts their upward mobility, but in theory, the opposite effect is possible, wrote the study’s authors: Upward social mobility could result in greater attractiveness. Once someone becomes wealthy, they can afford nicer clothes, a gym membership, or even cosmetic surgery to enhance their physical attractiveness.

For this reason, they focused on physical attractiveness as assessed at age 15.

Whereas earnings during adulthood may lead to hotter hair, face and body in adulthood, money can’t influence someone’s teenage looks. So by limiting the physical attractiveness assessment to adolescence, the researchers could be pretty confident that it was impacting social mobility, and not the other way around.

The results appeared this month in the journal Social Science Quarterly.

Breaking down the effects of these scientific hotness ratings by gender revealed a peculiar effect: Men seemed to benefit more from people thinking they looked good.

“For males, we observe a social mobility gradient of physical attractiveness for all three mobility measures; that is, those assessed as attractive have higher mobility chances than those assessed as average,” the study authors wrote. And with each step up the “attractiveness ladder,” men tended to increase this advantage.

“Among females, the gradient is weaker regarding intergenerational educational and income mobility, and there are no significant differences in physical attractiveness categories regarding occupational mobility.”

The new results contradict a study from Scotland in 2013, which found that girls’ teenage attractiveness was an important factor influencing education outcomes.

A major limitation of this study, which the team acknowledges, is when they first assessed people’s looks. Someone who is rated as unattractive as a teenager may bloom later on, for instance.

Research contact: @DailyMailUK

Lost cause: Why do some people lack a sense of direction?

June 27, 2018

Could you get lost in a paper bag? Some of us have no “inner MapQuest.” We have such a poor sense of direction that one wrong turn can take us off the beaten path for hours.

Why can’t we navigate? In 2014, neuroscientist John O’Keefe won a Nobel Prize for Medicine, along with two of his students (May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser) for a study on this very subject, conducted at University College London.

The research team discovered what they called “place cells” in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory. These place cells are activated when we go to a new area, forming a map of the environment. They combine with “grid cells” in the entorhinal cortex— which is next to the hippocampus—to tell us where we are, in relation to where we started out. In addition, the University College London researchers found a third type of “head-direction” cell in the entorhinal region, which fires off when we face in a certain direction.

In fact, the entorhinal cortex has been called the brain’s GPS system, based on a report on O’Keefe’s work in Scientific American. Together, these three types of specialized neurons—place cells, grid cells, and head-direction cells—enable each of us to navigate, but precisely how they do this is unclear.

What’s more, they may work differently in each of us. While our built-in compass is supposed to tell us which way we are facing—and then to provide directions on which way to turn in order to arrive at our chosen destination—if a person has a poor sense of direction, the signals are fuzzier. While the compass is supposed to readjust as a person moves through the environment, if he or she makes too many turns, the brain may not be able to keep up and may provide incorrect directions.

The researchers believe that men may have a slight directional advantage over women. Indeed, Dr. Martin Chadwick who did a follow-up study at University College London, told The Daily Mail UK, “Some studies have shown that women have a better visual memory: You can show them a scene and they will remember it better than men. Men, in contrast, can work with the geometry and rotate things in their mind better.”

Interestingly enough, the Daily Mail reported, when MRI brain scans were used to study the posterior hippocampus of candidates who were ready to take a test to qualify as London cabbies, those who had fully memorized London’s 25,000 streets and landmarks had a larger amount of gray matter in that region of the brain. The scientists think that their brains had changed in order to accommodate an internal “map” of the city, which would be used to direct them to the destinations requested by their riders.

Research contact: j.okeefe@ucl.ac.uk

99% of UK women want to ban the ‘budgie smuggler’ at the beach

June 22, 2018

When it comes to swimwear, women don’t want TMI (too much information) from men at the beach. Specifically, a survey of 1,000 British vacationers by the UK-based travel booker On the Beach has found that only 1% of women want to see their partner wearing a Speedo at the shore, with more than half (51%) saying they prefer to see guys wearing swim shorts instead.

The study results, posted on June 14 by The Daily Mail UK, also confirmed that British men don’t want to let it all hang out: Just 2% choose to wear the so-called “budgie smugglers” in public.

However, it is no surprise that the survey found that the bikini continues to reign supreme as the most-appreciated choice of swimwear by both women and men. More than half of women (51%) go for a bikini on the beach, and more than one-third of men (38%) named the two-piece as the beachwear option they’d choose for their partner.

However, the return of the one-piece swimsuit continues, with 27% of women now opting for more coverage during their summer break (while only 13% of men think it’s a good choice). More than one in ten women (12%) opted for a tankini—and 5% prefer to wear a kaftan on the beach.

Alan Harding, director o Marketing at On the Beach, said: ‘People should ,of course, wear whatever they feel most comfortable in, [but] our survey shows that those planning on wearing super snug Speedos … might be few and far between, with their popularity waning amongst both men and women.

A spokesperson for Speedo defended tight swimming trunks, telling the news outlet, “’Originally designed in the 1960s to reduce drag, support, and provide freedom of movement for competitive swimmers, the Speedo brief has become an iconic silhouette that transcends both the sports and fashion world.

‘While the Speedo brief continues to be adopted and loved by swimmers all over the world, Speedo has a much wider range of swimwear that appeals to all tastes and offers different levels of body coverage. ‘Today, the most popular Speedo swimwear style for men in the UK is, in fact, the Watershort.’As the world’s leading swimwear brand, and in this our 90th year, Speedo’s goal is to inspire people to swim and enjoy the water and there’s a Speedo swimsuit for all levels of swimmer and swimming ability.’

Research contact: onthebeach.co.uk