Love at First Sight

Here are some excerpts from an article in this week's Dawn Review.

Love at First Sight

By James Randerson

Their eyes met across a crowded room. The party chatter ebbed away and the music slowed. That first lovers' glaze is the staple of the romantic novelist, and scientists believe they have now revealed the true nature of its real attractive power. According to new research, romance has very little do to with it. That “look” is all about sex and ego.

“People are attracted to people who are attracted to them, and that shows attractiveness is not just about physical beauty,” said Ben Jones in the Face Research Laboratory at the University of Aberdeen.

He said the work challenges most previous studies of facial attractiveness that have focused on physical characteristics, such as a preference for symmetrical faces or masculine versus feminine features. Dr Jones and his colleagues say they have shown that attraction is based on social cues that say, “I'm interested in you”. The most important cue seems to be whether someone is looking directly at you.

"What we found at the most basic level is that people like faces with direct gaze more than they like the same faces with averted gaze,” said Dr Jones. “In other words, people find it more attractive when they are being looked at.” The results are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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Well, this surely explains a lot of things!