When it comes to looks, it seems that beauty lays not so much in the eye of the beholder, but in the eyes of her friends, a new study has found.
As a part of the experiment, Ben Jones and colleagues at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, showed 28 men and 28 women pairs of male faces and asked them to rate their attractiveness.
The photos had been already been rated by 40 women as of about equal attractiveness.
The researchers then took a third photo of a female face in profile and place it in such a way as to make the viewers believe that the lady was smiling at some faces while not others.
The viewers were asked to grade the faces again.
The researchers noted that men, whose photos managed to entice a “smile” from the woman in profile, were suddenly more attractive, than those who did not manage to raise a smile.
The results were reversed when it came to the men however, for the researchers found that men rated those counterparts who managed to raise a smile out of the woman as less attractive.
The researchers concluded that this could be due to “within-sex competition”.
“Within-sex competition promotes negative attitudes towards men who are the target of positive social interest from women,” the New Scientist quoted them, as saying.