Researchers have recently carried out a study on the physical appearance of people. The results show that unattractive friends enhance the beautiful features of other people. The study is based on the help of volunteers, who rated pictures of different people under certain circumstances.
As the study shows, you can gain more self-esteem by hanging out with unattractive friends. People who see such groups tend to focus on the attractive features of a person by comparing him or her to the other members of the group. The theory can work the other way around too, as good looking people can highlight plain features of other people in their proximity.
The experiment conducted by British researchers at the at Royal Holloway, University of London asked volunteers to state their opinion on photos of different people. First, they had to rate the images of people standing alone and then do the same thing with group pictures.
The researchers in charged of the study noticed that people tend to compare faces when looking at a group. Even if a portrait scored a small mark on the volunteers’ opinion, the same faces turned into pretty ones if places next to what could be called unattractive friends. This is how specialists were able to determine that attractive or unattractive company can influence the way you are perceived by passers-by.
One of the conclusions of the study is that beauty is relative not only because it is in the eye of the beholder. Other factors were taken into consideration, such as the company. Although beauty standards were initially believed to be static, the recent survey shows that they can actually vary and fluctuate.
On the other hand, it is also true that the way you perceive yourself is similar to the way people perceive you. In other words, they see you through your eyes. Some specialists suggest that feeling good about yourself boosts confidence and increases the chances that people around you should find you attractive.
Doctor Nicholas Furl, who is a psychologist, is the leader of the research. He talks about the standards of beauty in our modern society:
“Rightly or wrongly, the way people look has a profound impact on the way others perceive them. We live in a society obsessed with beauty and attractiveness, but how we measure and understand these concepts is still a grey area.”
The new study from the British specialists was published in Psychological Science. The subject is a rich one, and more research investigating it is expected. What do you think about you and your friends?
Image courtesy of: Adventurejay