Study: People wearing medical masks look more attractive
Miscellaneous / / January 14, 2022
The peculiarities of perception and choice of potential partners have changed due to the pandemic.
Scientists from Cardiff University in the UK have proposed Beyond the beauty of occlusion: medical masks increase facial attractiveness more than other face coverings 43 women rate photos of men on a scale of one to ten. In the pictures, some of the heroes were without masks, others were wearing simple fabric masks, blue medical masks, or with a black book in their hands, which covered the lower part of the face.
The participants of the experiment named the unambiguous favorites of men in blue medical masks. In second place in terms of points scored were heroes in fabric masks.
Prior to the pandemic, similar studies showed very different results. Masks made people think about the disease, so people preferred to avoid those who wear them.
Now wearing a medical mask has a reassuring effect on others, said one of the authors of the study, Dr. Michael Lewis. People in a pandemic feel vulnerable, so they are more positive about a person who is associated with medicine - he gives hope that everything will be fine.
The scientist noted:
The pandemic has changed our psychology in how we perceive mask wearers. When we see someone wearing a mask, we no longer think, "This person has a disease, I need to stay away." This applies to evolutionary psychology and how we choose partners. Previously, any signs of illness were a big obstacle in such a choice. Now we can see a shift in our psychology: face masks no longer serve as a signal of infection.
Dr. Michael Lewis
Professor at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University
Lewis added that perhaps masks make people more attractive because they draw attention to the eyes. Other studies have shown that covering the left or right side of the face also makes people more interesting, in part because the brain fills in the missing gaps on its own.
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