Want to Stand Out? Study Says Hanging Out With Your Unattractive Friend Boosts Your Looks
Want to stand out in the crowd? A study says that people with less good looking friends appear more attractive to others.
According to a research from the Royal Hollway, University of London published in the journal Psychological Science, how people judge and perceive your level of attractiveness depends on how you compare to the people in your surroundings. This new discovery breaks former assumptions that a person's perceived level of attractiveness is fixed, showing that this varies depending on the people you hang out with.
“Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady," said study author Dr. Nicholas Furl in a news release. "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."
Furl further notes that one's level of attractiveness and beauty has had a profound impact in today's society, but how it's measured is still a "grey area." The study aims to create a new understanding that good looks is not static.
To conduct the study, Furl asked a number of participants to rate different pictures of faces one by one. After which, two attractive faces were then placed alongside pictures of faces who were deemed less attractive face tagged as "distractor" face." Furl noted that the presence of a "distractor" face made the participants more critical in discerning the two 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 choosey!" Furl said. "We found that the presence of a ‘distractor’ face makes differences between attractive people more obvious and that observers start to pull apart these differences, making them even more particular in their judgement.”