A new study published in the journal PLOS One revealed a link between a person’s body type and their family’s earnings. According to the study’s findings, physically appealing people are likely to earn more than those who aren’t.
According to researchers, the beauty premium is a reality. However, a University of Iowa associate professor and his colleagues found that the metrics employed to assess physical attractiveness had some severe shortcomings.
Most earlier studies frequently defined physical appearance from subjective evaluations based on surveys. In addition, these metrics are too simplistic to provide a thorough description of body forms. To overcome these concerns, researchers used new data that included three-dimensional whole-body scans for this study and a cutting edge machine learning technique called graphical autoencoder.
Two thousand and eighty-three people from North America were scanned and analysed using deep machine learning technologies. All of the data was collected by the U.S. Air Force as part of the Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CAESAR) project, which ran from 1998 to 2000. Demographic data, tape measure and calliper body measurements, and three-dimensional digital scans of the participants were all included in the dataset.
A statistically significant relationship exists between physical appearance and family wealth. Male height has a favourable impact on family wealth, whereas female fat does not.
According to the study, one centimeter in stature (translated to height) increases family income by $998 for a male who makes $70,000 of the median family income. One unit decrease in obesity (converted to BMI) of a female is connected with an increase of around $934 to the family income with a household income of $70000.
A physical attractiveness premium persists, and the association between body shapes and family wealth is varied among females.
According to this research findings, it is also essential to accurately measure body morphologies to develop appropriate public policies for enhancing healthcare and reducing prejudice and bias in the labour market. Workplace ethics/non-discrimination training is one way to raise awareness of such discrimination, while blind interviews are another.
Previous research relied on self-reported attractiveness and body mass index estimations, which do not distinguish between fat, muscle, and bone mass. The new study eliminates this problem. However, there is one primary flaw in the latest research.
The data set does not cover individual income. Physical attractiveness can now have an impact on family income in new ways. As a result of this research, the relationship between body types and family income is identified by examining the labour and marriage markets, suggesting that future studies should include a new survey of individual income.
Published on July 30, 2021, the paper is entitled “Body Shape Matters: Evidence from Machine Learning on Body Shape-Income Relationship.”
Shruti is a consulting intern at MarktechPost. She is currently pursuing her B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), Kanpur, India.