Ever heard of 'mate choice copying'? If the research is anything to go by, it's happening on Facebook right now.
Researchers at Duke University and the University of California found that when we're alongside someone attractive in a photo, people find us more attractive too. And when we're alongside somebody not so blessed in the looks department, our perceived attractiveness goes down too.
They took a large group of men and women, all of whom described themselves as 'straight', and showed them pictures of a 'potential mate'. In some pictures, the potential mate was standing alongside someone the participants were told was an ex, who they were now no longer with.
The researchers consistently found that potential mates were thought to be more attractive when they were alongside somebody else 'attractive' than when they were alone. In addition, the potential mates were found to be less attractive when they were alongside a partner perceived to be unattractive.
Interestingly, the researchers also tracked eye movement, and every single participant spent time looking at the partner in the photo, despite only being asked to assess the potential mate.
This is mate choice copying.
What does this tell us about Facebook? According to this theory, it tells us that when we post photos, our attractiveness is partly about who we are alongside, as well as the way we look ourselves. It'll make you look at your Facebook profile in a whole different way - trust me.
Moral of the story: if you're single, get loads of photos of yourself alongside hotties.
This action alone is probably not going to help you pull Brad Pitt but, according to the above research, it may well enhance your prospects.
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