Sophia Panych, Allure magazine
I'm not sure whether to file this new bit of research under the "duh" category, or email it to my all my friends so they will finally understand why I can't help dating dudes with tattoos, piercings, motorcycles, and a penchant for trouble. According to a new study published in the Social Psychological Personality and Science journal, it's not the element of danger or risk taking that attracts us to the bad boys (or girls), it's that people with badass tendencies are just empirically hotter. See friends, it's not my fault... it's nature!
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The study, published under the title, "People With Dark Personalities Tend to Create a Physically Attractive Veneer," took 100 subjects and gave them personality tests to rate them for what's called Dark Triad traits-that's Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy (in other words, rebels without a cause who think quite a bit of themselves). Researchers then took two photographs of each subject. The first photo was taken of the person dressed up and styled, referred to as "the adorned condition." The second photo was the same person in the "unadorned condition": they posed with their hair pulled back, no makeup or jewelry, and a gray t-shirt and pair of sweatpants. Then both pictures were shown to volunteers who rated them for attractiveness. The subjects who exhibited the "Dark Triad" traits were rated as significantly more attractive in the adorned state than in their unadorned state. But the subjects who didn't have dark traits? They did not get an attractiveness boost from getting dressed up, resulting in the conclusion- badasses are just better looking when they get all gussied up.
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The thing is, I know a lot of really attractive good boys. They aren't assholes, they aren't narcissistic, and they know how to pull themselves together. But I'll always go for the guys in the motorcycle jacket standing next to them. I still think it's the whole stepping out of your comfort zone (and on to the back of a Harley) that gets many of us riled up. Just my own little theory.
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