Today in research that confirms what you suspected in junior high school: hot people are meaner than average-looking folks. Also, mean people make more money.
According to the Observer, researchers put subjects through the classic prisoner's dilemma experiment, in which players can choose to cooperate or to screw each other over for a potentially greater benefit. They found that people with more symmetrical faces were more likely to pick the screw-over option. Their explanation:
As people with symmetrical faces tend to be healthier and more attractive, they are also more self-sufficient and have less of an incentive to co-operate and seek help from others. Through natural selection over thousands of years, these characteristics continue to the present day.
Basically, symmetrical people don't have to be nice, because they can accomplish things on their own through genetic superiority — or just get people to do stuff for them because they're so hot. Of course, not all studies have found a link between symmetry and attractiveness, and attractiveness in general is a slippery and difficult thing to study. But if being hot does make you meaner, it could also make you richer — according to a study released earlier this month, men who scored low in measures of "agreeableness" — a tendency toward helping and cooperating with others — made 18% more money per year than those who scored high. For women, the difference was a more modest 5%. So being mean pays, but less if you're a lady.