9 scientifically verified ways to appear more attractive
Attraction relies on much more than your physical appearance.
It's in the way you carry yourself, the people you hang out with, and how you talk to people — plus a whole lot more.
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Multiplestudiesindicate that women are more attracted to men who can make them laugh.
In one study, a psychologist asked men to tell a joke to their friends at a bar while a woman sat at a nearby table — and the guys who told jokes were three times as likely to get her number as the people who didn't.
"The effect of a great sense of humor on women's attractions might be partially explained by the fact that funny people are considered to be more social and more intelligent, things that women seek in a mate," anthropologist Gil Greengross writes.
Surround yourself with friends.
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A 2014 study from the University of California at San Diego found that people looked better when they were in a group.
It's because our brains take the faces of a group of people in aggregate, making each face look more "average" — and attractive — as a result.
"Having a few wing-men or wing-women may indeed be a good dating strategy, particularly if their facial features complement and average out one's unattractive idiosyncrasies," authors Drew Walker and Edward Vul write.
In a 1997 study, State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron separated two groups of people and paired them off, giving each duo 45 minutes to answer a set of questions.
One question set was small talk, and the other was increasingly probing. The people who asked deeper questions felt more connected — and one couple fell in love.
According to Harvard research, talking about yourself stimulates the same brain regions as sex or a good meal.
"Activation of this system when discussing the self suggests that self-disclosure ... may be inherently pleasurable," Scientific American reports. Be a leader.
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People are attracted to power. A 2014 study found that people in a group think their group's leader is more attractive than do people who aren't in the group.
A company's CEO will seem more attractive to employees than to people outside the company.
"In contrast with research traditions that treat physical attractiveness as a static trait, our findings highlight the importance of group membership as a lens for perceiving familiar leaders' physical attractiveness," conclude lead author Kevin Kniffin and his colleagues.
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In two experiments, researchers in Switzerland examined the relationship between attractiveness and smiling.
They found that the stronger the smile, the more attractive a face looked.
In fact, a happy facial expression compensated for relative unattractiveness.
Own a dog.
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In a University of Michigan experiment, women read vignettes about men. Whenever the story featured a person who owned a dog, women rated that person as a more suitable partner in the long-term.
The researchers concluded that owning a pet signaled that you're nurturing and capable of making long-term commitments. It also makes you appear more relaxed, approachable, and happy.
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A 2014 Chinese study of 120 people found that when people hear about how nice somebody is, they find the person's face more attractive.
"Personality characteristics may be linked to facial attractiveness, such that positive personality characteristics can promote facial attractiveness, whereas negative personality characteristics can reduce facial attractiveness," write authors Yan Zhang, Fanchang Kong, Yanli Zhong, and Hui Kou.
Live in a high-status place.
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In a Cardiff Metropolitan University study, a man was photographed with a casual posture in a "high status" luxury apartment and a "neutral status" standard apartment context. The high-status men received a much higher attractiveness rating.
The researchers say there's an evolutionary element at work: High-status men appear more capable of taking care of a family, making them more attractive.
Play good music.
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In a study from 2014, researchers asked 1,500 women with an average age of 28 to listen to simple and complex pieces of music and rate the attractiveness of the composer.
The results found that women preferred the more complex music.
"The ability to create complex music could be indicative of advanced cognitive abilities," said author Benjamin Charlton, a lecturer at University College, Dublin. "Consequently, women may acquire genetic benefits for offspring by selecting musicians able to create more complex music as sexual partners."