It’s time to search for uglier buddies: A recent study revealed that the phenomenon known as the “ugly friend effect” may actually be real.
The research, conducted by Dr. Nicholas Furl of London’s University of Royal Holloway, proved that people are determined to be more or less attractive by others depending on how ugly or attractive the person standing beside them looks, reports International Business Times.
Furl, whose study was published in Psychological Science, stated on Friday that when individuals are photographed next to an ugly friend, they will be perceived to be more beautiful or more handsome to the “beholder”.
In his research, Furl tasked 40 participants to rate pictures of different faces for attractiveness using two different conditions.
For the first instance, the researcher asked the participants to provide scores for the attractiveness level of individuals who were shown to be alone.
In the next round, he asked participants to rate the same faces who were then placed together with images of less desirable people he called the “distractor faces.”
The findings revealed that the participants found the same faces from the first round appear more attractive in the second round.
“Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady. 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,” Furl said.
So which friend are you?
Image via Flickr