(Mirror Daily, United States) – The truth behind the old adage that says “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has been debated over the decades, but new research swoops in with a theory that supports it.
Such is the case of celebrity attractiveness, which is one of the things people seem to disagree on the most. But after studying differences of opinion in twins, researchers concluded that how we perceive beauty is mostly the result of unique experiences. Basically, you can’t make even twins to agree on everything because of personal taste.
Published in the journal Current Biology, the findings showed that some general aspects of attractiveness are rather universal, and the reason for that might be the genetic encoding we all have. It’s pretty clear that symmetric faces, for example, would be more appealing to most people than asymmetrical ones.
Beyond these limited preferences that we all seem to share, researchers discovered that people really do have different “types.” According to co-authors Dr. Jeremy Wilmer and Dr. Laura Germine of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, respectively, there’s a ratio that works for most people.
They said that “an individual’s aesthetic preferences for faces agree about 50 percent, and disagree about 50 percent with others.” This is also the reason why fashion models get rich off of their facial good looks, while friends can debate for hours about who is attractive and who is not.
This is not the first time researchers were interested in the human response to attractiveness, but previous studies mostly focused on universal features of attraction. The study at hand, however, was more interested in finding out what makes people to disagree over facial attractiveness.
After putting up a science website, researchers collected the face preferences of roughly 35,000 visitors. In response to the insights gained, they were able to come up with a “highly efficient and effective” test that measures the singularity of people’s face preferences.
More than 500 pairs of identical twins and around 200 pairs of non-identical twins then took the test which had them rate 200 faces on the level of attractiveness. These two groups were relevant in the estimation of the effect of genes and environments on one’s face preferences.
According to prior research on families and twins, almost every human trait – from interests to personality – is genetically passed down from one generation to another, at least to some degree. That’s why the new study agrees with the “eye of the beholder” adage, because they found the singularity of an individual’s face preferences is not accounted by genes, but by specific personal experiences.
Image Source: Alan Lim Studio