Sometimes, online dating feels like trying to find love in a hopeless place. (Cue Rihanna….) But regardless of what app you’re on—Bumble, Tinder, Sweatt—you probably already know that an important part of your profile is your photo. (Hey, the depth of the dating pool can be pretty shallow at times.)
Despite the emphasis placed on appearance, though, it turns out people might not actually be good at identifying photos in which they look attractive, according to a recent study published in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications.
The photo selected by strangers garnered more attention from the internet after both options were uploaded online.
When psychologists from three Australian universities asked people to select a potential profile pic, then showed a random test group images of the subject and asked them to do the same, the photo selected by strangers garnered more attention from the internet after both options were uploaded online. The evidence is based on a rather small study (102 college students), but researchers found the results compelling.
“We suspect it’s because our face is overly familiar to us,” says David White, the study’s lead researcher. “We find it difficult to see through the eyes of an unfamiliar person. When it comes to choosing the best version of ourselves, it may be wise to let other people choose for us.” Now, if there was only an app for that….