November 14, 2007 in City

The Falls

Shawn Vestal The Spokesman Review

We’ve long held that facial similarity is a major factor in the attraction between people. In other words, our possibly crackpot theory asserts, we’re attracted to people with a facial architecture similar to our own.

Actually, the power of facial similarity is hardly our idea. Scientists have studied it for years – finding, in one case, that people who live together a long time actually become more similar-looking.

Now a Bellevue company has created a “facial recognition technology” that would allow people to find mates by comparing facial geometry or figure out which celebrity most resembles them. The technology – call it creepy or brilliant – could appear at online dating sites in the future.

The implications of facial geometry in human decision-making may put more “substantial” factors to shame. A 2006 study at Stanford had 72 subjects evaluate pictures of political candidates – and then evaluate the same candidates’ pictures when they’d been made to slightly resemble the subjects themselves.

One result: Men were more likely to vote for a candidate who looked like them. And women were less likely.

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