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Harvard Study Finds Attractive People Struggle More With Relationships

Science By
Couple disagreeing with each other (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Those seeking longer, stable relationships might want to aim for a partner who isn’t that good-looking.

A clever study conducted by Harvard University psychologists found a connection between physical attractiveness and negative relationship outcomes across four different studies.

Two of these experiments looked at the duration of marriages compared to the attractiveness of people found in high school yearbooks and celebrities. Those rated more attractive, in both cases, tended to have shorter marriages, the Boston Globe reported.

To test this, the psychologists then asked 150 participants—who were secretly rated on their looks—to assess the attractiveness of members of the opposite sex in photos. Researchers found good-looking participants in relationships were the most likely to rate photos of the opposite sex higher.

After some participants were made to feel more attractive by being shown photos from a Google search matching “unattractive male” and “unnattractive female,” participants were asked to rate the people in the photos again and found the good-looking people to be more appealing.