Beauty And Brains: A Surprisingly Common Combination

Have you ever automatically assumed that someone drop-dead gorgeous is dimwitted? Perhaps you've thought someone has gotten special treatment at work or school because of their looks? Well, it turns out the most attractive among us are probably the most intelligent, too.

Although our society has long associated impressive intellect with an awkward, nerdy appearance and bimbo brainpower with model-like looks, British and American studies show that beautiful people have higher IQs.

This should come as no surprise to someone like Sharon Stone, whose celebrated beauty never stood in the way of her qualifying for Mensa membership.

"Physical attractiveness is significantly positively associated with general intelligence, both with and without controls for social class, body size and health," researcher Satoshi Kanazawa told the UK's Sunday Times.

The explanation for the link lies in our evolutionary mating tendencies. Good-looking people attract partners who are not just good-looking themselves, but also smarter than average. The resulting offspring inherit both genetic qualities.

And although the higher-IQ occurrence applies to both genders, "The association between attractiveness and general intelligence is ... stronger among men than among women," with physically attractive women scoring 11.4 points above average and physically attractive men scoring 13.6 points above average.

Having a hard time thinking of smart stunners? Here are some hotties you might have not realized are intellectually impressive:
Kate Beckinsale
Jennifer Connelly
Cindy Crawford
Matt Damon
Claire Danes
Geena Davis
Dolph Lundgren
James Franco
Hugh Grant
Famke Janssen
Alicia Keys
Rashida Jones
Lucy Liu
Wentworth Miller
Natalie Portman
Shakira
Brooke Shields
Emma Watson
Sigourney Weaver
Reese Witherspoon

Have you ever made assumptions about someone's intelligence based on their looks? Let us know by leaving a comment below.