1. Opposites only attract when people are single
When people are single they are more attracted to faces that are dissimilar to their own, new research finds.
But, when people are already in a relationship, they are more attracted to faces that look similar to their own.
In other words: opposites attract for single people, but not for those in a relationship.
The reason that dissimilar faces attract could be down to avoiding incest or other people with similar genes.
2. Altruism linked to having more sex
People who help others out have more sex, new research concludes.
The more altruistic people are, the more sexual partners they have and the more frequently they have sex.
Could it be, then, that being nice to other people is the ultimate aphrodisiac?
Who would have thought it?
3. The weight change required to increase attractivity
The face can reveal whether our weight has changed, but how much is required for others to see it?
Dr Nicholas Rule, co-author of a new study on the subject, explains:
“Women and men of average height need to gain or lose about three and a half and four kilograms, or about eight and nine pounds, respectively, for anyone to see it in their face, but they need to lose about twice as much for anyone to find them more attractive.”
Read the full write-up.
4. Men should NOT try to ‘sound sexy’
Women have no trouble changing their voice to make it sound more sexy, but men have no clue.
Women lower the pitch of their voice and make it sound more breathy — which men find more attractive.
Dr Hughes said men found it difficult to sound sexy:
“In fact, although not significantly, it got a bit worse when men tried to sound sexy.”
The reason for the differences could be down to practice, the researchers think.
Men do not really focus on making their voice sound sexier, but women do.
5. Uncertainty is key to attraction
Women are more attracted to men when they are uncertain of his feelings.
So the old dating advice about ‘playing hard-to-get’ may have some scientific basis.
It all comes down to how much we are thinking about the other person.
The study’s authors write:
“When people first meet, it may be that popular dating advice is correct: Keeping people in the dark about how much we like them will increase how much they think about us and will pique their interest.”
6. Beards signal long-term relationships
Women judge fully bearded men to be a better bet for long-term relationships.
This might be because it makes men look more ‘formidable’.
Certainly, beards make men look older and more aggressive.
Beards are also often judged to make men look like they have higher social status.
However, for short-term relationships, women judge stubble to be most attractive, the new research found.
7. Left cheeks are more attractive
Believe it or not, our cheeks were not created equal in attractiveness or emotional expression.
People’s left cheeks are generally seen as more attractive than their right, a psychology study has found.
It may be because people tend to show more emotion with their left cheek than their right.
The reason could be down to how emotions are processed in the brain.
8. Mixed race faces are most attractive
Mixed-race faces are consistently seen as the most attractive when compared with black and white faces.
The finding is dramatic among the most attractive people, writes Dr Michael Lewis, the study’s author:
“…40% of the faces in the experiment were mixed race but among the top 10% most attractive faces this proportion increased to 65%.
Of the top 5% most attractive faces, 74% were mixed race…
…people whose genetic backgrounds are more diverse are, on average, perceived as more attractive than those whose backgrounds are less diverse.”
9. The group changes how attractive you look
How attractive you look depends on the attractiveness of the people around you, new research finds.
An average-looking person is rated as more attractive when surrounded by unappealing faces.
Dr Nicholas Furl, the study’s author, said:
“Last year’s film The Duff, – an acronym for the rather unfortunate and unfair term ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ explored how the main character felt being physically compared to her friendship group.
As in life, this film showed that how we perceive beauty and attractiveness isn’t fixed.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Flirting image from Shutterstock