Groups are The New Sexy


The Cheerleader Effect

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By: Lakshmi Ganesan

Who knew that to appear sexy – you don’t need the best clothes, make-up, or hair? Well, that’s indirectly what the Cheerleader Effect states, for according to it, you just need attractive friends.

Research conducted by scientists in the University of California suggests that an average-looking person who is with a group of striking individuals is perceived to be more attractive than when he or she is alone.

In the experiments conducted, participants were shown photographs of people alone and in groups, and some of the “groups” were actually collages of one person. Subsequently, they were asked to rate the attractiveness of the people featured on the photograph. Regardless of gender, those photographed in a group always had higher ratings as compared to the ones that took solo photos.

The logical explanation behind this conundrum, is that an individual’s unattractiveness tends to average out when put together with other attractive people. However once the group dissipates, like a rash, the unattractiveness creeps back on, and the unattractive individual is left with his/her personality to fend the cold, cruel world.

So, equipped with this knowledge, you could do two things: a) experiment with the Cheerleader Effect by hanging out with attractive people, and b) scrutinize other groups of people to ensure you’re not falling under the spell of the Cheerleader Effect. But, don’t get too carried away with this, for this effect is temporary at best- it only lasts when you have ‘cheerleaders’ with you.