Like Attracts Like? To an extent, definitely

August 7, 2013

vegan couple like attracts likeHere’s a new study that will make you pore into your husband/boyfriend’s face for answers…Or at your crush’s facebook profile photo. Researchers at the University of Oslo wanted to test the evolutionary theory that people are compelled to choose mates who are distinct from themselves for healthy, genetically-diverse offspring. Sounds intuitive, right? But the results are pretty astonishing…

To test this, the researchers gave participants several versions of a face and asked to rate them based on attractiveness. The version that people found most attractive was the one morphed to include 22% of the facial features of the Self (the participant). This was true when other variations morphed with a same-sex prototype face were judged more attractive by other objective observers. And when presented with blending of Self into the face of a romantic partner from 11%, 22%, and 33%, 22% was consistently judged the most attractive. At each of these levels, Self-morphing was not detectable by the eye so the recognition had to be at a subconscious level.

The researchers concluded that “individuals, if given the opportunity, seek to promote “positive assortment” for Self’s phenotype, especially when the level of similarity approaches an optimal point that is similar to Self without causing a conscious acknowledgment of the similarity.” Translation: We strive to make the best of our strengths by choose mates with the same traits, but not too much similarity, since that can backfire in a major way.

So “like attracts like” is really more true than “opposites attract.” This study proves all those things we’ve observed in real life, but couldn’t quite put a finger on. For instance, how your exes all have the same height and eyes, or how your best friend and her husband look not quite exactly the same, but oddly…matchy. If you’ve always wondered why all your exes look alike, here’s what this means: you don’t have a type–except maybe, you yourself!

Photo: 123rf

Juhea is the founder and editor of Peaceful Dumpling and the author of bestselling novel Beasts of a Little Land. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, @juhea_writes and Pinterest.


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