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KidA111's avatar

Has anyone else noticed that people with similar faces tend to attract to one another?

Asked by KidA111 (26points) September 28th, 2010

I’ve read a bit about the psychological research on this and how this attraction has to do with our inclination to find comfort in familiarity. I was wondering if others noticed how people are often very good friends/in romantic relationships with others who have facial features like themselves or one of their parents. For instance Freud’s oedipus complex theories suggest that men would be attracted to women who resemble their mothers in some way due to suppressed urges from infancy. Studies are now coming out that suggest this attraction to people resembling the opposite-sex parent is very real and applies to both sexes (assuming they’re heterosexual, not sure how it would work with homosexuals)

Also, does anyone know if there’s any reason to believe that personality may be linked with certain facial characteristics and if this is part of why certain facial “types” may attract towards one another? I often get the feeling that physical and psychological traits go hand-in-hand in a sort of comprehensive phenotypal “package” and that this package sort of acts like a magnet in that it will strongly attract a package with complementing personality traits/physical features, attract a package with not necessarily complementing but similar traits/features, and repel a package that has traits/features which are too similar and thereby may be seen as a threat or rival. (I realize this analogy is far from perfect but im sure you get what im driving at)

Im sure a lot of this is just me speculating in ignorance (and it probably sounds like ive been smoking too much pot) so if anybody is aware of research that more accurately explains the various social/psychological/biological phenomena im describing, I’d really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and knowledge.

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13 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve heard that people tend to mate with folks of a similar beauty. I’m doubtful about the facial feature thing. You would have to have a very broad definition of similarity for that to work out. I wouldn’t trust that study. I am pretty sure that personality is unrelated to facial features. That’s like Phrenology, which isn’t really science.

I seriously doubt that there is anything to any of the issues you have raised. If you read studies, be very careful about believing them. There’s a lot of bad science out there.

Yup. I went and read the original study. The sample was made up of undergrads, no doubt from the authors’ institution(s). You can’t make any generalizations based on this study. Undergrads are likely to be different from the overall population.

phaedryx's avatar

My wife and I very different facial features. That’s one point of data against.

john65pennington's avatar

I have always said that my wife reminds me of myself, only in a female form. we have so much in common. we both have blue eyes and that’s actually all the physical features alike, we possess. other than our identical personalties, that’s just about it.

Tomfafa's avatar

My dog and I pass for twins!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

^ I’ve seen more similarities in an owner and a pet than in human couples.

deni's avatar

haha! yes! both of my serious boyfriends thus far, many people have said that we look like we could be brother and sister. i suppose i see it.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I’ve noticed that it’s true for some. I first noticed this among my high school friends, decades ago. I surmised that it was a Narcissus effect: each must have thought the other was good-looking. It’s not a generalization about couples, of course—most look nothing alike—but some just seem extraordinarily like reflections of each other, too much so even for the odds in a general distribution of feature types.

Some older couples look strikingly similar to each other. Maybe they always did, and maybe over time they just grew more alike.

kheredia's avatar

That’s why good looking people always date good looking people and then have good looking babies :-)

Crossroadsgrl's avatar

They DON’T always have good looking babies ;)

ashesg's avatar

It’s true, good-looking people tend to date good-looking people. The same is true for friend circles. People tend to find friends whose level of attractiveness is equal to or less than their own level of attractiveness (as they see it). I think this has more to do with insecurity than genetics though. As for people dating others who look like themselves, I would agree with the first comments that question the validity of the study. It is possible that we take a certain amount of comfort in the familiar, and therefore some people would tend to seek out those who look like their parents, but I would say this is far from true for everyone. My fiance isn’t even the same race as I am…but of course this is only anecdotal evidence. Perhaps some of us look for physically similar mates, while others find other familiar qualities in our partners, such as personality traits or hobbies.

dreamer31's avatar

I am not so sure about the couples looking alike but I do agree with the earlier comment that people look like thier pet.
I agree with @Crossroadsgrl most DO NOT have good looking babies. In my experience alot of times, the pretty people have dont like to say ugly when refering to babies special looking babies, then some not so good looking people have georgeous babies.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Just on a side note; my husband looked like my dad. I look like my husband’s sister.

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