Good-looking people happier with life after thinking about how attractive they are, study finds

Paper in the Journal of Happiness Studies looks into whether we would actually be happier if we were better looking

Friday 19 February 2016 19:57 GMT
The most beautiful people in the world. Fact
The most beautiful people in the world. Fact (Paramount)

Good-looking people tend to be happier - but only when they have been thinking about how attractive they are.

A new paper in the Journal of Happiness Studies looked at whether levels of happiness were linked to how attractive people think they are.

Lukasz Kaczmarek and colleagues at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland asked 97 students to take two questionnaires measuring their “life satisfaction” and “body satisfaction”.

The order of the questions was randomised; half started the questionnaire answering about life satisfaction and the other half began with questions about body satisfaction.

The results showed people with more confidence in their looks tended to be happier than those who thought they were less attractive, but only if they answered the body satisfaction questions first.

The researchers concluded that when we think about one aspect of our lives first - how good we look - it tends to dominate our feelings and assumes a disproportionate importance in the moment.

"Body satisfaction as a focusing illusion may need to be considered by scientist as well as lay people who try to look better and be happier," the paper concludes.

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