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View Poll Results: Is unattractiveness a boon to scientific discovery?

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  • Yes

    10 26.32%
  • No

    28 73.68%
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  1. #11
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    would they have had such an impact, or made such discoveries?

    My guess is no.
    I'm afraid I don't understand your premise.

    Do you mean to presume that physical attractiveness necessarily inclines the individual to pay more attention to those who give him praise, thereby indirectly neglecting aspects of intellect to which he would be otherwise disposed?

    That is to say, the attractive scientist will spend less time doing scientific research, as he'll invariably be inundated with attention corresponding to his physical beauty, which in turn reduces the quality of his work when compared to the unattractive scientist who, as a result of less attention paid to his physical looks, will have more time to dedicate to research and, as is the case with your examples, be therefore more likely to produce transcendent breakthroughs in his respective field?

  2. #12
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    You seem to have a fairly narrow view of what people find physically attractive in men, and how others respond to that.

  3. #13
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    I think the OP is implying that since there are a number of (what he deems) physically unattractive scientists, there may be a causal relationship between physical attraction and being a scientist.

    That being said, the most obvious causal relationship that I see (though I don't believe) is that if one is unattractive, he/she is less likely to interact socially/sexually with people and keep to his/herself (because perhaps they are ashamed of the way they look, or less people want to form relationships with them?? Idk that logic is kind of fuzzy), thereby concentrating more on introspection and discovery rather than on interpersonal relationships. They stay in the lab rather than go out to the bar.

    You must admit that scientists are often stereotyped as introverts, so perhaps that's where the OP is coming from. It could be better formulated though.

  4. #14
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    I'm afraid I don't understand your premise.

    Do you mean to presume that physical attractiveness necessarily inclines the individual to pay more attention to those who give him praise, thereby indirectly neglecting aspects of intellect to which he would be otherwise disposed?

    That is to say, the attractive scientist will spend less time doing scientific research, as he'll invariably be inundated with attention corresponding to his physical beauty, which in turn reduces the quality of his work when compared to the unattractive scientist who, as a result of less attention paid to his physical looks, will have more time to dedicate to research and, as is the case with your examples, be therefore more likely to produce transcendent breakthroughs in his respective field?
    Something along those lines. Even in upbringing, those around him might have given him such positive experiences in interacting with others that he is more inclined to focus on a less solitary, cerebral existence. It just seems to me that when one is given much simply for being himself, that his focus tends to shift.

    Quote Originally Posted by teslashock View Post
    I think the OP is implying that since there are a number of (what he deems) physically unattractive scientists, there may be a causal relationship between physical attraction and being a scientist.

    That being said, the most obvious causal relationship that I see (though I don't believe) is that if one is unattractive, he/she is less likely to interact socially/sexually with people and keep to his/herself (because perhaps they are ashamed of the way they look, or less people want to form relationships with them?? Idk that logic is kind of fuzzy), thereby concentrating more on introspection and discovery rather than on interpersonal relationships. They stay in the lab rather than go out to the bar.

    You must admit that scientists are often stereotyped as introverts, so perhaps that's where the OP is coming from. It could be better formulated though.
    I guess I just figured it was evident.
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  5. #15
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    Something along those lines. Even in upbringing, those around him might have given him such positive experiences in interacting with others that he is more inclined to focus on a less solitary, cerebral existence. It just seems to me that when one is given much simply for being himself, that his focus tends to shift.
    Ah.

    Well, then I think you are marginalizing the motivational aspects of superior intelligence (a somewhat innocuous phrase unto itself), when mobilized in spite of external distractions to contemplation and production.

    You are offering what could otherwise be considered a 'Slippery Slope' rationale. There are multitudinous other factors that corroborate to assist not only in the initial development of the intellect, but in the subsequent application of intellectual capability. No man is an island, as they say.

    The way one looks (or doesn't look) is probably not nearly as important as what one wants or has the ambition to obtain.

  6. #16
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Newton and Bohr weren't unattractive. Bohr was actually a decent soccer player, quite athletic in his youth. Other prominent scientists were known to be womanizers (Schroedinger, Feynman), but it looks like it wasn't an hindrance. Nikola Tesla wasn't unattractive either.
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  7. #17
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Ah.

    Well, then I think you are marginalizing the motivational aspects of superior intelligence (a somewhat innocuous phrase unto itself), when mobilized in spite of external distractions to contemplation and production.

    You are offering what could otherwise be considered a 'Slippery Slope' rationale. There are multitudinous other factors that corroborate to assist not only in the initial development of the intellect, but in the subsequent application of intellectual capability. No man is an island, as they say.

    The way one looks (or doesn't look) is probably not nearly as important as what one wants or has the ambition to obtain.
    I don't disbelieve this, but don't you think that how one looks can affect what one wants? How one looks can affect how s/he is treated?

    I'm just interested in discussion, frankly. I thought there might be a connection, and decided to ask opinions on it.
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  8. #18
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Nikola Tesla wasn't unattractive either.
    Got that right!! Mmmmmm...

  9. #19
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    When it comes to intellectual pursuits, they tend to be self-generating. I would say more than difference in treatment based on physical attractiveness, the broader cultural environment they were raised in factored heavily into their subsequent work.

  10. #20
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I'm just interested in discussion, frankly. I thought there might be a connection, and decided to ask opinions on it.
    Certainly a reasonable move. Ideas are to be explored, should progress ever be realized.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Nikola Tesla wasn't unattractive either.
    Franz Liszt was also thought to be exceedingly attractive in his day.

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