Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bad News Good News

Bad news: You're uglier than you think. A recent study employed modern graphics techniques with photos of generically ugly faces and of handsome/beautiful faces. Each participant was photographed and his or her facial image was morphed slowly from the generically ugly image, to his/her own real image, and then to the very attractive face. Participants then were asked to pick out their actual images from the series. Uniformly, they chose images morphed some distance toward the attractive face as being the accurate ones. This may explain why people typically dislike most photos of themselves. We are sure we look better than that. No, we don't.

Good News: Despite these self-flattering delusions, we still underestimate how attractive we are to other people. Subjects generally scored themselves on a 1-10 scale significantly lower than others scored them. Yes, I'm afraid I said "generally" this time rather than "uniformly." A few of us think we’re pretty hot.

I’m not one of those few. Why else would I just have updated my Photoshop?

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