7 Common Traits Scientifically Proven To Make You Less Attractive
— Updated on 15 November 2021

7 Common Traits Scientifically Proven To Make You Less Attractive

— Updated on 15 November 2021
Boss Hunting
Boss Hunting

Attraction is something you’d assume was subjective. In reality, a good portion of it is steeped in science. And it goes beyond the surface level of physical appeal, into the inner mechanisms of the human brain.

Here are seven common traits that are scientifically proven to make you appear less attractive.

1. Laziness

The University of Wisconsin and State University of New York published a series of studies back in 2004. Their research found that perceived attraction has a direct correlation with traits like helpfulness. Naturally, the opposite effect also applies.

Researchers asked students to rate the personality traits of their peers as well as attractiveness. Returning after six weeks to repeat the process, it was discovered that students initially rated average at the beginning of the experiment were rated less attractive if their classmates had witnessed even an instance of laziness throughout the course.

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2. Sleep deprivation

It’s called “beauty sleep” for a reason, although it applies contributes towards looking healthy more than anything else.

In 2010, researchers from Sweden and the Netherlands presented two sets of photos to their respondents. One set showed people who had slept a minimum of eight hours the night before. The other set showed people who had not slept in 31 hours. The latter set was obviously labelled less healthy, therefore appearing less attractive.

Later in 2013, the same researchers decided to push it further and determine what specifically made the sleep-deprived look unattractive. Here were the specific details outlined:

  • Droopy/hanging eyelids
  • Red eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Pale skin
  • Looking “sadder” than the healthier people

3. Being unfunny (or lacking a proper sense of humour)

A 2009 study conducted by the University of California found that having even a baseline average sense of humour meant you’d cop a penalty in the old attraction score. The same sentiment applied to both men and women and vice versa. Which just goes to show… nobody likes an unfunny cornball.

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4. Contractive body language

A 2016 collaborative study from the University of California, Stanford University, University of Texas and Northwestern University investigated the effects of “power pose” type body language and contractive body language. 

The scientific validity of “power poses” has since become a matter of great debate within the research community, but it is worth noting that contractive and closed-off body language was deemed less attractive.

Expansive postures are definitely the go – head up, straight back, open chest, arms by the side. As opposed to, well, you know… being slumped, arms crossed, and head drooped down. 

5. Scent

We’ve covered both scents and scent-based attraction on BH quite a bit. You can hit both links for a more in-depth read on the subjects. So we’ll keep this section brief.

Basically, it not only comes down to having a fragrant bit of Gucci Guilty lingering when you leave the room – it’s about pheromones and pheromone induced neural messages, physiological responses, as well as implications of cleanliness. 

6. Excessive drinking & smoking

For a 2016 study, researchers in Belgium recruited over 200 heterosexual young women to go through photos and bios of young men.

Men whose bios indicated they smoked frequently were immediately considered less attractive than their non-smoking and occasional smoking counterparts. Especially in the context of long-term relationships.

In terms of drinking, attraction in this particular realm is predicated entirely upon hitting the happy medium. Occasional drinkers were rated more attractive than non-drinkers and frequent drinkers in the context of both short and long-term relationships. Heavy drinkers were relegated to the bottom of the pile.

Fair play. That being said, you’re taking the piss if you think anyone is giving up grog and darts to get laid.

7. Differing political opinions

By no means are we telling you to compromise your beliefs. We’re just merely pointing out the fact that this does factor into attraction. Think of it more as a PSA than a criticism.

The University of California and California State University published a paper in 2016 which suggested that political views have an impact on attraction. 

The study used the 2012 Presidential Election as its centrepiece with approximately 850 US adults who indicated whether they sided with the Democratic or Republican Party. Participants were then presented photos with brief bios of a person. Some indicated whether they supported Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

Female Democrats obviously found:

  • Men who supported Obama more attractive 
  • Men who supported Romney much less attractive

Men also found women much less attractive when they discovered they supported the party opposite to their own. Women who supported a similar party, however, didn’t get rack up any bonus attraction points.

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