Richard Russell (Harvard) and Matthew Bronstad (Brandelis) recently published a study in Perception. They asked adults to rate the attractiveness of various faces, they found that that siblings, friends and spouses were more likely to agree with each other than with strangers."The agreement between pairs of affiliated friends, siblings and spouses was significantly greater than between pairs of strangers drawn from the same race and culture, providing evidence that facial-attractiveness preferences are socially organized," Richard Russell, of Harvard University in Massachusetts, said in the study.They recruited 20 married couples, 20 pairs of siblings and 41 pairs of close friends and asked each person to rate 74 faces of undergraduates on a scale of one to seven, from very attractive to very unattractive. The responses were also compared with answers from another person they did not know. Close relations were more likely to agree with each other than with strangers and the strength of their agreement also tended to increase along with the number of years that they had been in daily contact.
Friends help define views of beauty