When it comes to presenting yourself online – such as your profile pic for Facebook or even Tinder – which type of photo do you chose? The selfie you’ve taken after careful consideration of lighting, hair and maybe makeup? (No doubt, you look great!) Or the group photo with friends, possibly less styled, but that captures a moment among peers?
It might come as a surprise that it’s the group photo will make you look more attractive – it’s a phenomenon known as the “cheerleader effect”.
The cheerleader effect is real, but perhaps not for the reasons you think. The group shot with friends may indeed communicate you are sociable and friendly, but this is not what is making you more attractive.
The real explanation boils down to how human brains deal with information.
Give me an E! For evidence
First popularised by the television series How I Met Your Mother, the character Barney Stinson uses the term cheerleader effect to describe a woman appearing attractive when in a group, but not as an individual.
A thrusting young buck at work recently approached me to ask for some tips on toning up. He does a lot of exercise but lives pretty generously. That means, whatever his body asks him for, he generously provides. As a result he has cultivated something of a "Dadbod" and has now decided to take action to stem the tide.
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