The news: Being nice is hot.
Success in romantic endeavors is about more than just having a good Tinder profile. A new study found how you treat people can influence your perceived attractiveness.
As part of research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, scientists had three random groups of Chinese men rate the attractiveness of 60 female faces with neutral expressions. The participants then rated the same group of faces a second time two weeks later, but accompanied by different "emotional descriptors" — decent, honest, mean, evil, etc. — the second time. One group heard positive traits, another negative traits and the control group was given no information about the people in the photographs.
All three groups had rated the pictures similarly during the first trial, but their ratings varied during the second test. The group that had positive characteristics associated with their photos gave them higher attractiveness ratings than the other two groups.
The researchers ultimately concluded that "personality traits may contribute to judging facial attractiveness and that the personality traits desired in a person are reflected in facial presence."
Kindness can do more than get you laid: Aside from just being the right thing to do, showing basic compassion and decency to other human beings has numerous other benefits. Kindness is proven to make people happier, increase cardiovascular health and slow aging. Even simply witnessing the act of true altruism can be a boon to mental health.
"Our evolutionary ancestors had to learn to cooperate with one another," explains Dr. David Hamilton at the Huffington Post. "The stronger the emotional bonds within groups, the greater the chances of survival, so 'kindness genes' were etched into the human genome. Today, when we are kind to each other, we feel a connection, and new relationships are forged, or existing ones strengthened."
The takeaway: At a time when people can often seem desperate for relationships, be they one-night stands or otherwise, way too many Americans resort to automatic Tinder-swipers and online dating "hacking" techniques to track down the perfect mate. In reality, the best dating technique is to be a good person, period.