Thanx for the tip guys Demonstration of Higher Value. Hawes, One question I have about this study is how the authors established their baseline for "attractiveness"?More colloquially, I think the phrases "you're known by the company you keep" and "when it rains, it pours" are applicable. In other words, what kind of person/people do/did they view as "attractive"?On one of these couples-pictures, the model was matched with a highly attractive person, on another the match was a moderately attractive person, and on the third matching was performed with a less attractive person.Yorzinski and Platt now wanted to see whether attractiveness ratings, and even the invited rater's reported willingness to engage in a romantic relationship with the photographed models, would be influenced by whether pictures showed models on their own, or together with another person (since the study included all reported heterosexuals, couples pictures always included two opposite sex models).The eye-tracking data also showed interesting results.For one, female spent more time looking at a man when he was shown next to a very attractive woman.The same person, when shown together with a very attractive person looked more desirable than when shown alone.However, when shown with a less attractive person the potential mate appeared to loose desirablility.
The original study includes a number of controls not mentioned here.
Additionally, Platt and Yorzinski used a so-called eye tracker to collect data on where participating raters directed their gaze while viewing the pictures.
In the case of female raters, they wanted to know whether female raters - when making a decision regarding a male model in a couple's picture-, would spend significant time viewing the female model that appeared in the picture, but more importantly, whether the presence of another female in the picture increased the attention given to the image of the male model. The graph below demonstrates one of Platt and Yorzinski's main findings: When participants of either sex rated the attractiveness of a potential mate in a "couples-photo", how attractive they perceived the potential mate to be increased with the attractiveness of his or her fellow-model in the photograph.
Because females are generally more selective in their choice of mates compared to men (due to differential parental investment) they may be more skeptical of mates paired with unattractive partners while males may have a high baseline interest in all potential mates." "[...] gaze differences could reflect differences between men and women in processing visual social information.
Because men can process information about attractiveness faster than women, they may be able to gather information about same-sex partners with brief gaze shifts.