Quick, get me Gisele!
You look hotter standing next to less attractive people, says a new study.
In a nutshell, people are seen as more attractive when they are surrounded by people who are considered to not be as good looking, reports the research, done by University of London’s Department of Psychology.
The study used 40 brave participants, who were rated by the attractiveness of various faces they made in photos. When researchers mixed in unattractive “distractor faces,” the participants went back and rated the people in the initial photos they looked at as more attractive—based on how unattractive they found the distractors.
“Rightly or wrongly, the way people look has a profound impact on the way others perceive them,” author Nicholas Furl of Royal Holloway, University of London, said.
“Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady. If you saw a picture of George Clooney today, you would rate him as good-looking as you would tomorrow. However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others.”
Is this why models hang around with models? We thought it was a “work” thing.
Also, the “distractor” faces made participants realize more what they liked in particular about the attractive faces.
“The presence of a less attractive face does not just increase the attractiveness of a single person, but in a crowd could actually make us even more choosy,” Nicholas said.
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science, and determined “the more unattractive the distractor, the more one of the targets was preferred over the other target, which suggests that divisive normalization (a potential canonical computation in the brain) influences social evaluations.”
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