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February 3, 2006

'Just One Look' — Or why it's over before it even started


Psychologists at the University Pennsylvania recently reported that people decided whether someone was attractive or not when yearbook photos were flashed on a screen for 0.013 seconds.

Participants claimed they could not see the faces and were just guessing but the results showed they were accurate in their initial assessments compared to what they thought after being given a chance to re–view the pictures at their leisure.

Ingrid Olson, a researcher at Penn's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the co–author (with Christy Marshuetz of Yale University) of the paper just published in Emotion, a publication of the American Psychological Association, said, "We're able to judge attractiveness with surprising speed and on the basis of very little information."

No wonder Speed Dating seems prehistoric.

February 3, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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And for the ability (particularly of a trained mind) to make accurate split-second decisions, check out Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink".

Posted by: riannan | Feb 3, 2006 7:29:04 PM

Isn't it amazing how this happens? This is a subject that has always fascinated me. Some great books addressing the subject of the science of attraction are "Survival of the Prettiest" by Nancy Etcoff, "The Evolution of Desire" by David Buss, "The Anatomy of Love" by Helen Fisher, and in related chapters, one of my favorite books on earth, "The Tangled Wing" by Melvin Konner. (He writes like an angel.)

Posted by: Flutist | Feb 3, 2006 1:39:49 PM

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