People more likely to get attracted to partners who look like them

Sydney, July 8 (IANS): People are more likely to get attracted to those with whom they share a facial resemblance, suggests an interesting study.

A team of researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia studied hundreds of heterosexual participants during short speed-dating sessions. The experiment consisted of 682 participants and 2,285 speed-dating interactions where participants of the opposite sex interacted for three minutes at a time.

After each interaction, participants rated each other on facial attractiveness, and kindness and understanding. The team then analysed their facial images to calculate facial masculinity, averageness and similarity between interaction partners.

"We found that participants rated partners who had geometrically average faces and faces similar to their own as more attractive," said lead author Amy Zhao, a doctoral student from UQ's School of Psychology.

"Participants also received higher facial attractiveness ratings from partners of the same ethnicity, compared to those from a different ethnicity. "Interestingly, people with similar facial features rated each other as appearing more kind, regardless of ethnicity," Zhao said.

She noted that the study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, is the first to use face-to-face interactions where participants rate each other in person.

"These findings address major limitations in past studies which involved participants rating a series of photographs or computer-generated faces," Zhao said.

"Our findings suggest that faces that look similar spark a sense of kinship, causing people to feel comfort, familiarity and belonging with those who look like them," she added. Better understanding of how people rate attractiveness, could assist with dating and forming romantic relationships, Zhao said.