A brand new scientific study has done the research, concluding that we humans are influenced by others, especially when choosing a mate. Duh.
Science has always been a rather divisive field. Whether you’re a disciple of Schrödinger, Curie or those who believe they’re wrong, the thing that brings our milkshake to the yard is their hypotheses. However, while some are new, innovative and applicable, others are so painfully obvious that watching grass grow seems preferable.
In 2006, researchers in Denmark & Italy discovered that when it’s cold outside, people dress accordingly, irrespective of gender. In 2011, just two years after scientists monitored brain activity in dead salmon, a team from the University of Vienna published a study which radically altered life as we know it: “Red-footed tortoises do not find yawning contagious”.
To add to this list, last month Nature magazine released the conclusion that “people’s opinions are shaped by those held by others around them” as part of a study into why women find men more attractive when desired by other women. Earthshattering. Scientists have even given this (rare) phenomenon an official name: Mate-copying.
Conducted by a team of British and American researchers, 49 females were asked to rate 20 images of men’s faces and hands using a scale of 0-100. No, this is not toxic blokeyness or Middle-school banter, it’s reliable science. The study even included a controlled variable – each woman also rated an abstract piece of art.
After this first round, each woman was told an ‘average rating’ of the men from all the female respondents then asked to reduce a complex human being into a 1-2 digit number.
Having decided that translating a premature opinion to a form of quantitative analysis is an accurate way of measuring human preference, the published ‘results’ revealed that facial attractiveness rose by approximately 13%.
This is the cold, hard scientific reasoning behind this radical denouement: “…by already being in a relationship or desired by other women, a man has already proven that he already has some desirable characteristics thus giving him an attractiveness boost”
Having decided that translating a premature opinion to a form of quantitative analysis is an accurate way of measuring human preference, the published ‘results’ revealed that facial attractiveness rose by approximately 13%
Various sites have been quick to deem this a psychological explanation for why ‘women like to date married men’ despite the social stigma and devastating, thoughtless consequences. However, note that the study uses the term ‘facial attractiveness’, despite the title bearing connotations of infidelity – nowhere does it say that women feel more compelled to initiate relationships with the men, it says they merely see the men’s face as more attractive or ‘likeable’.
Dr Kate Cross gives as a beautiful recapitulation of all this knowledge we already possess “Women appear to copy the mate preferences of other women but this might simply be because humans have a general tendency to be influenced by the opinions of others”.
Just in case you have forgotten man’s most common foible, today our progressive ‘scientific’ endeavours deliver us the answer: humans are often conditioned and influenced by the things around us.
Astonishing information, really.