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The beauty of prosocial behavior: how prosocial behavior affect attractiveness

Kajsa Hansson, photo.

Although there is no clear connection between attractiveness and generosity, we often expect attractive people to be more generous than less attractive people. This study explores the bi-directional relationship between (expectations of) prosocial behavior and attractiveness.

In a pre-registered behavioral experiment, we examined the causal effect of attractiveness on expectations of generosity and the effect of generosity behavior on perceived attractiveness. In line with our first hypothesis, the results of the experiment showed that good-looking people were expected to be more generous. More importantly, however, the results also showed that people who engaged in prosocial behavior also were perceived as more attractive. The study thus highlights a dynamic, bi-directional relationship between attractiveness and behavior.


Kajsa Hansson, Hooman Habibnia, Minou Goetze, Susann Fiedler

Kajsa Hansson's personal page

Title on the publication 

The beauty of prosocial behavior: The bi-directional link between attractiveness and prosocial behavior

Link to the publication