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Is He Hot?


That depends...on what your friends say? Here’s why your pal’s opinions might lead you astray and derail your search for Mr. Right.

By Laura Schaefer

ou see someone across a crowded room... and your heart flutters. Sure, to a certain extent, it’s because you like what you see. But while we might think we have a mind of our own when judging how attractive someone is, a new study reveals that women are heavily influenced by the opinions of others.

To study this phenomenon, researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland
A new study reveals that women find guys attractive when other women do, too.
had female participants choose the more handsome out of pairs of male faces (the photos had been previously rated as being of equal attractiveness). Then, participants were shown a picture sequence in which each face was being looked at by another woman who was either smiling or appearing bored. When the initial test was repeated, the participants were more attracted to the faces that had been smiled at by others. This is called “mate choice copying” and is seen in many animal species such as guppies and finches.

The moral of the story: Ladies, the next time you go out on the town and your friend says, “Ooh, he’s cute!” or “I don’t know what you see in that guy,” take your pal’s opinion with a grain of salt and try to tune into your own instincts. Otherwise, you might end up pursuing — or missing — a match who’s right for you.

And here’s an interesting note for you: When the same test was performed using male study participants, the opposite occurred. When men looked at male faces, those that got the smiles were rated more negatively. Lead researcher Ben Jones believes this is because men are thinking about the competition factor. Men don’t have a lot of positive feelings towards other guys who are receiving appreciative female glances.


Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time.
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