Berkson’s paradox or why attractive people you date tend​ to be jerks

24 Aug, 2018 at 15:16 | Posted in Statistics & Econometrics | 4 Comments

The Book of Why_coverHave you ever noticed that, among the people you date, the attractive ones tend to be jerks? Instead of constructing elaborate psychosocial theories, consider a simpler explanation. Your choice of people to date depends on two factors, attractiveness and personality. You’ll take a chance on dating a mean attractive person or a nice unattractive person, and certainly a nice attractive person, but not a mean unattractive person … This creates a spurious negative correlation between attractiveness and personality. The sad truth is that unattractive people are just as mean as attractive people — but you’ll never realize it, because you’ll never date somebody who is both mean and unattractive.


  1. I’m enjoying reading this book

    • It is indeed hard not to enjoy reading. A truly wonderful book. As an introduction to modern causal theories, it is unsurpassed!

  2. As Triny Lopez used to sing:

    If you want to be happy for the rest of your life,
    Don’t make a beautiful woman your wife,
    And from a personal point of view,
    Find an ugly girl to marry you!

  3. Attractive people can more easily get away with being mean though.

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