You can get away with a lot in a relationship if you’re good-looking, if you’re not a looker you better act right, according to a new study out of Eastern Kentucky University.
Researcher showed 170 female college students two male faces with similar features - one considered attractive, the other one struggling in the looks department- along with two different scenarios. In the scenario the study in Gender Issues describes as a "low violating" scenario, the male asks to borrow a pen; in the "high violation" scenario, the male suggest she try modeling and asks to take her photo.
The women were then asked series of questions to gauge their reaction to the different scenarios. When asked would they comply with the males request most said yes to the pen but no to the photo. This was regardless of how attractive the man was.
They were also asked to rank each man on how friendly, ambitious, mean, rude, and creepy he was. In the low violation case, both men's personalities, the ugly and the handsome, were perceived to be similar. Things change with the modeling request though.
In the modeling scenario, "the perceptions of the facially attractive male's personality were significantly less negative...than the perception of (the) facially unattractive males’ personality. Researcher Jeremy Gibson puts it this way, “The unattractive male is tolerated up to a point; his unattractiveness is OK until he misbehaves." The researchers in the study called this the "double" devil effect. The negative perception of bad behavior is magnified when the perpetrator is unattractive. This has real-world implications.
Researcher Jonathan Gore says, “A man who stands trial has already shown himself to have violated social norms in one way or another. If he is also unattractive, the magnified devil effect … could influence how negatively jurors view him and, as a result, the degree to which they believe him guilty of the crime.”
Moral of the story is look as good as you possibly can. You may even get away with murder.