Science Says: You’re Not As Attractive As You Think

07-05-wishful-thinkingPeople tend to think they’re more attractive than they really are. They also tend to think their friends are more attractive than they really are. And everyone prefers how they look in the mirror to how they look in candid photos.

Scientists digitally manipulated pictures of people and then had them pick their own faces out of a lineup. People not only recognized the positively digitally enhanced photos of themselves faster, they also more readily accepted it as their own face. Same goes for altered and unaltered photos of their friends. (Key takeaway here for me: Maybe I’m really only a six and should accept dating a six instead of holding out for eights. Noted)

But here’s the good news you adorable Narcissus, you. People think unaltered photos of you are more attractive than ones that have been altered. In a separate study, scientists showed people normal pictures of themselves, and pictures of the themselves that matched the angles and perspective of what they would see looking in the mirror. People very much preferred the mirror perspective. Meanwhile, people who knew the person who’s photo had been altered preferred the normal photos.  Why? Because of the Exposure Effect. We’re used to seeing ourselves in a mirror, and others are used to seeing us in 3D.  woman-self-image

So put down that Photoshop tool and resist the urge to untag yourself on Facebook. People like you the way you are.

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