Magazine article Psychology Today

Friendly Faces

Magazine article Psychology Today

Friendly Faces

Article excerpt

HAVE YOU EVER had the feeling, scrolling through your Facebook feed, that certain circles of college buddies, teammates, or neighborhood moms bear a resemblance? You may be onto something. Studies reported in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found evidence that people with similar facial appearances are more likely to be part of the same social group.

Researchers collected and tightly cropped headshots of people from different friend groups, fraternities at a Midwestern university, and majorleague baseball teams and enlisted volunteers to rate the photos on characteristics such as attractiveness, youthfulness, and perceived intelligence and strength. In certain studies, the team also used a computer program to estimate various physical dimensions of thefaces.

Using both the subjective impressions and objective measurements, the researchers created statistical models that were able to sort the faces into theirspecific groups, fraternities, orteams with above-chance accuracy-even when they controlled for common genderand ethnicity. …

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