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Brainiacs Score

By Dian Vujovich

Let’s see, when it comes to earning power over one’s lifetime, what’s more important: Beauty, brains or self-confidence?

Turns out, it ain’t looks.

Recently, the University of Florida conducted a study to determine how intelligence, beauty and self-confidence affected one’s lifetime income. Results came from a National Midlife Development study that questioned 191 men and women between the ages of 25 and 75.

The study measured intelligence via standard testing and mental exercises, self-confidence from questions about coping with life situations and attractiveness based on photographs of the participants.

Bottom line: It’s brains that count the most when you’re counting income.

Seems that being smart brings rewards that begin early in life and extend throughout it as kids with brains get positive strokes from parents and teachers that translate into building their self-confidence. And that translates into all sorts of income-producing opportunities.

In the good-looks department, being cute matters but not as much as gray matter. After all, who doesn’t ogle and goggle over an adorable infant, good-looking kid or teen. It’s no secret that these young people garner much more attention and are punished less than the ugly Betty types. Problem is, good looks don’t necessarily have the staying power of smarts. But we didn’t need a study to show us that. All we need to do is go to our 20 or 30th high school reunion to see that for ourselves.

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