Study: You’re Not As Hot As You Think You Are

5/23/13 11:11AM EST

hot models

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” So says the classic shampoo commercial, but a new study indicates a lot of people believe they’re beautiful when they are, in fact, average in appearance. Researchers from the universities of Chicago and Virginia have shown that subjects see themselves as better-looking than they actually are, while rating others based on their actual appearance. Scientists Nicholas Epley and Erin Whitchurch took photos of study participants and, using computers, created more-attractive and less-attractive versions. When asked to choose unmodified image, subjects were most likely to select the attractively-enhanced version.

The results are contrary to a recent promotion from Dove in which women were asked to describe their own faces to a sketch artist. Later, a briefly-acquainted stranger was also asked to describe the women’s faces. When the two drawings were later shown to the women, they were generally surprised to find the stranger’s description produced a sketch of a more-beautiful person.

Dove’s experiment is a great concept, but Epley and Whitchurch don’t believe its results. They describe a general phenomenon psychologists call “self-enhancement.” Research has shown that people not only over-estimate their appearance, but also their likelihood to engage in desirable behaviors. For example, people overestimate their likelihood to vote and the amount of money they donate to charity. Meanwhile, they more accurately estimate positive behaviors displayed by others.

Obviously, not everyone can be above average. But 93 percent of drivers rate their skills as above average. Likewise, 94 percent of college professors believe they do above average work, most people believe they are less likely to fall ill than others, and investors think their stock picks are more likely to be successful than others.

At the same time, most people also predict they provide more accurate self-assessments than others. So are they confident or delusional? Probably a little of both. Scientists believe the phenomenon occurs because of the adaptive nature of self-enhancement. Basically, people tend to show strong negative emotional responses toward deceivers. But through self-enhancement, they truly believe their own desirable characteristics, so they can promote themselves without lying, which boosts their confidence.

Extra confidence drives people to perform better, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Go ahead and delude away.

 
13 comments
MikeJohnson8
MikeJohnson8

But Sikorsky, Pratt and EB employment are dwindling here.  Replace with Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun.

MikeJohnson8
MikeJohnson8

Ocean Beach is pretty good, especially if you like to play volleyball.  Misquamicut is the real beach.

Peter Haney
Peter Haney

The women can be most difficult to approach, date, and live with.

DanHager
DanHager

3,6,8,9,11, and 14 are true of me.

My mother, father, grandfather, and I, worked at Sikorsky at one point in our lives.

After prom, my date took me to a party in the woods, but I've never been much for that kind of thing.

My girlfriend lives in Torrington across from an old folks home and a drug den, and Waterbury was the closest city to me growing up.

Actually finding someone I knew wasn't as common as you'd think, but did happen.

I enjoy the aquarium, a lot more as an adult then when I was a kid. Damn belugas would always sneak up behind me and jump scare me as a kid.

Quassy was the closest amusement park, but I also remember Lake Compounce. Now I'm in reasonable proximity to go to Six Flags GA if I feel like it, back home the nearest Six Flags was a 2 1/2 hr drive into MA.

15...well, I kinda knew that. Chick-Fil-A are about as common in GA as D&D were in CT.

Laura Vitorio
Laura Vitorio

Not to mention highest taxes in the nation, and high prices! My husband and I moved here due to jobs from the Midwest. Big disappointment!  Drivers are much better and more courteous in other states I've been in! Speeding, tailgaiting, lack of signal use, hanging in the left lane. Shall I go on? People in general are just rude. And I am very tired of  UCONN!!  Beaches? You're kidding, right??  Can't wait to leave. 

Buster_Maloney
Buster_Maloney

Usually these CT Lists are pretty terrible, I have to say though, a lot of this list is pretty on point for me.

SteveSirica
SteveSirica

In Hartford county try finding someone who doesn't or hasn't worked in the insurance industry(Cigna, Aetna, The Hartford or United)...If you do they are probably from another part of the state.  

MitchTownsend
MitchTownsend

#8: You left out Winsted. 

Also: grinders, the Green Lady (Canton, Burlington), Mucke's hot dogs, calling someone a "raggy," fireworks at Ocean Beach, and hot lobster rolls with butter (not cold with mayo -- ugh).

TracyRowe
TracyRowe

um...I live in Torrington and it's a pretty nice place to live. You can't even begin to compare it to Waterbury and Bridgeport.

MargaretOKyttle
MargaretOKyttle

When it comes to employment in Connecticut. They forgot to mention they know someone who has worked for Electric Boat too. :)

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