Want to know the easiest way to be both intelligent and popular at school? Follow the latest trend in fashion and befriend a "badly behaved" mate, a new study has suggested.Researchers have found that children who are toppers and also popular with classmates, possess a number of typical characteristics that protect them from being branded "boffins" in the playground.
They tend to be good-looking, sociable, extrovert and at the centre of events in class; and the clever pupils gain kudos by having a best friend who is more disruptive at school while avoiding facing the discipline that is meted out to the friend, the study found.
"Some pupils are able to maintain popularity with peers inspite of their high academic achievement. What appears to be a fundamental facilitator of this 'balance' is their physical appearance, and for boys, their ability at sport."Of course, notions of 'attractiveness' are socially constructed, but it remains the case that the some pupils are blessed with features that conform to such constructions and other are not," lead author Prof Becky Francis of Roehampton University was quoted by 'The Daily Telegraph' as saying.