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Perception of Physical Attractiveness Influenced by Relationship Status

Perception of Physical Attractiveness Influenced by Relationship Status

New research suggests opposites do attract, that is, unless you are in a relationship.

Specifically, if you are in a relationship you are more likely to be attracted to faces resembling your own, but for single people, opposites attract.

In the study, Dr Jitka Lindová of Charles University in the Czech Republic and her team showed a series of photographs of faces to university students and asked them to rate their attractiveness.

The photographs were digitally manipulated so that the resemblance to the student was modified.

Images were of an individual of the opposite sex, whose face had been manipulated to look either more or less similar to the student. They were also presented with images of a same-sex individual manipulated in the same way.

“We found that single participants, those not in relationships, rate dissimilar faces as more attractive and sexy than self-resembling faces;” stated Lindová.

This was observed when participants rated both same-sex and opposite-sex faces.

“For the first time, we have observed how our partnership status affects who we find attractive” she added.

When in a relationship, the preference for someone who has some resemblance to us, may stem from a variety of motives.

“Our interpretation is that attractiveness perception mechanisms that give us a preference for a genetically suitable partner may be suppressed during romantic relationships,” explained Lindová.

“This might be a relationship maintenance strategy to prevent us from finding alternatives to our own partner, or perhaps self-resemblance becomes more important in terms of the social support we expect receive from relatives, which are known as kinship cues.”

Little research has been carried out about how our perceptions change when we enter a relationship. These findings have important sociological and biological implications that require further study.

In addition, Lindová pointed out that this work may be of interest to the applied psychological sciences.

“For example, as those not in a relationship were not influenced by kinship cues our findings might help to explain social phenomena such as parent and adolescent disaffection;” she said.

Source: Frontiers

Perception of Physical Attractiveness Influenced by Relationship Status

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2016). Perception of Physical Attractiveness Influenced by Relationship Status. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2016/07/15/perception-of-physical-attractiveness-influenced-by-relationship-status/107190.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Jul 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Jul 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.