Planning a night out on the pull? You might want to invite some of your less good-looking friends to go along.
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Psychologists from Royal Holloway, University of London, asked 40 participants to rate pictures of different faces for their attractiveness. Volunteers were then asked to assess the same faces when they were placed alongside others.
Researchers found that these "distractor faces" caused the ranking of attractiveness of the original faces to increase. Interestingly, a person was ranked more attractive when compared alongside less good-looking people than when they were judged alone.
"Until now, it's been understood that a person's level of attractiveness is generally steady," Dr. Nicholas Furl, the study's author, said in a statement about the study.
"If you saw a picture of George Clooney today, you would rate him as good-looking as you would tomorrow. However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others."
Dr Furl believes his findings will be of particular interest to those working in consumer behaviour and the advertising industry. "People may even socially evaluate a person differently depending on who is standing nearby," he said.