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30 November 2012 Adolescents but not Older Women Misjudge Intelligence from Faces and Do not Consider Intelligent-Looking Men Attractive
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During human evolution, finding an intelligent mate could have resulted in more high-quality offspring via better access to resources or via “good genes”. Considering that the choice of a mate is an important issue, one would expect that intelligence could be accurately judged by human observers at the beginning of sexual maturity when women of primitive tribes generally establish pair bonds. Male facial photographs and IQs were used to study how well adolescent versus older women can judge intelligence from a picture. There was no correlation between men's IQ and the perceived intelligence rankings given by female adolescent judges, nor did these judges perceive men of higher IQ as more attractive. Interestingly, however, there was a significant correlation between the measured IQ and the intelligence ranking by older female respondents. The ability to readily judge intelligence seems to be learned, or it matures later. As surprising as the inability of adolescent women to correctly evaluate intelligence is, it in any case may partly explain why they did not find intelligent men attractive: they could not estimate whether they were intelligent or not. Evaluation of human intelligence could, indeed, represent a case where it can be worthwhile for young or inexperienced individuals to copy more experienced ones, at least in cases where only limited information exist.
© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2012
Markku Milonoff and Petri Nummi "Adolescents but not Older Women Misjudge Intelligence from Faces and Do not Consider Intelligent-Looking Men Attractive," Annales Zoologici Fennici 49(5), (30 November 2012).
Received: 7 February 2011; Accepted: 22 March 2012; Published: 30 November 2012

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