Researchers have discovered the secret to seduction – It’s by standing next to an ugly friend.
Volunteers were asked by scientists at the Royal Holloway, University of London, to rate pictures of different faces for attractiveness. They were also asked to assess the same faces placed alongside ones perceived to be on the ugly side. The addition of these ‘distractor’ images led to the original faces seeming more fanciable.
Nicholas Furl, who is the study author, said, “We live in a society obsessed with beauty and attractiveness, but how we measure and understand these concepts is still a grey area. Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady.
“However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others.”
Meanwhile, another experiment showed that introducing a plain face made volunteers choose between two attractive ones. In an article written in the Journal of Psychological Science by Dr. Furl said the presence of a distractor face makes the difference between attractive people more obvious.