University of Oregon psychology professor Sanjay Srivastava noticed a fascinating trend when he compared professor attractiveness ratings by major to combined GRE scores for PhD candidates by major (a proxy for IQ).
Attractive professors seem to have lower IQ, according to the chart posted at Srivastava’s blog, The Hardest Science, reposted below.
Srivastava warns people not to read too much into this conclusion.
“There may be some problematic stereotypes that this graph plays into — like the idea that you can be attractive or competent but not both,” Srivastava writes in an email. “So I feel compelled to conclude with a warning to readers: if you take this too seriously, I’m going to move your profession to the bottom of the chart.”
Indeed, the chart is based on old and limited data. The hotness ratings come from a 2004 paper that looked at hotness ratings from RateMyProfessor.com (a student survey site meant primarily for quality ratings). The GRE averages come from a 2002 report.
Nonetheless, it feels at least a tiny bit accurate, which may be why the chart is starting to go viral:
Srivastava, himself, earned a chilli pepper for hotness on RateMyProfessor.com, which fits the trend of attractive psychology professors. We can’t speak for his intelligence, though he is also a highly rated professor and he makes good charts.
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