It creates this self-affirming circle where we never even stop to ask if we perceive the man as good-looking. At least partly because physically attractive individuals are treated preferentially by the world at large, they enjoy improved school performance, greater occupational success, and higher earnings. Sign in My Account Subscribe. Status however you want to measure it: income, formal education, et cetera is often not far behind. In so doing, scientists misidentify matching as exchange. What appears to be an exchange of beauty for socioeconomic status is often actually not an exchange, McClintock wrote, but a series of matched virtues. Because people of high socioeconomic status are, on average, rated as more physically attractive than people of lower status, many correlations between one partner's appearance and the other partner's status are spurious and misconstrued. So this is just one more place where upward mobility is, it seems, a myth.