The character of Christian Grey, played here by Jamie Dornan, is written as a attractive and successful man / Chuck Zlotnick

A social experiment at Brunel University appears to claim that physically attractive men are less interested in leveling social inequality

Good-looking men are more likely to be selfish, new research claims.

The study, carried out by psychology researchers at Brunel University London, used 125 male and female participants to test an evolutionary theory that more attractive individuals profit from social inequality and so perpetuate the practise in society.

Researchers found that although attractive men were less generous, attractive women did not display the same tendency towards continuing inequality.

Lead investigator and senior lecturer Dr Michael Price said: “The results suggest that better-looking men may be biased towards being more selfish and less egalitarian.”

Participants’ bodies were measured using a 3D scanner, scored on a traditional physical attractiveness measures – i.e. slimness, waist-to-chest ratio for men, and waist-to-hip ratio for women – and then rated by two separate groups.


The first group of ‘raters’ scored the 125 on attractiveness and the second judged how altruistic and egalitarian they believed the images of people would be in real life.

Prior to this, the scanned participants  were asked to fill out a personality questionnaire measuring their attitudes to selfishness, inequality and participated in a social experiment measuring their reactions after they were presented with money and asked to give it away.

“We found that the ‘raters’ perceived better-looking men and women as being less altruistic and egalitarian,” Dr Price told Brunel University News.

The views of the ‘raters’ supported the results of the social experiment and questionnaire, which showed that only the men who were perceived as ‘better looking’ were more likely to act selfishly in order to further their own aims.

Dr Price was cautious about the results of his experiment, stating the correlation was “nowhere near perfect” and that many good-looking men could be altruistic.