We don’t want any of our patients to take this as an endorsement of a life of crime, but . . . it turns out an attractive smile can help you get lighter sentences for crimes. Or, rather, research shows that unattractive men are more likely to be given harsher sentences by a jury. So maybe cosmetic dentistry can help you smile your way out of trouble.
The “Double Devil” Effect
A new study looked at the impact of attractiveness on the “sentences” issued by 170 college age women for men who had committed crimes. The women were given pictures of men, a blend of attractive and unattractive men, and were asked to give their feelings about each based on written scenarios. In some scenarios, the men committed a crime and the women were asked what sentence was appropriate for these crimes.
When no crime was involved, the women expressed similar feelings about the attractive and unattractive men. But when men committed a crime, the attractive men were given much lighter sentences, while the unattractive men were given harsh sentences. Researchers describe this as the “double devil effect.” Essentially, unattractive men are tolerated as long as they behave, but if they misbehave they are blamed not only for their crime, but for their unattractiveness, too.
Handsome Devils Still Get Dates
In the same experiment, women were asked to consider online dating profiles that were paired with either attractive or unattractive pictures. Some of the profiles also contained “unusual or alarming information.”
Women would consider dating both the attractive and unattractive men as long as their profiles didn’t contain anything “alarming,” but if it did, unattractive men were immediately rejected. Attractive men, though, were still considered datable. We might call this the “Christian Grey Effect”: women are prepared to date deviants as long as they’re handsome (and maybe rich).
How Will an Attractive Smile Help You?
You can deny it all you want, but attractiveness, including an attractive smile, creates a “halo effect” that casts all your actions in a positive light, even if those actions themselves aren’t always positive.
If you’re looking for the kind of smile that can get you out of trouble (no criminal activity, please!) or at least get you dates, please call for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in Tulsa today.