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Birds Of A Feather

Why Couples Start To Look Alike

Everyone knows a couple or three who seem to eerily resemble one another. This resemblance could be in an overly spooky sibling kind of a way, or — body type, height and nationality notwithstanding — some duos just kind of look alike and you can't really put your finger on it.

For many years researchers have attempted to dissect the science of attraction. The results have varied widely; some scientists swear opposites attract, others lay their bets that it's our similarities, not our differences, that cause us to shack up. Well, the latest study to sprout out of the University of Michigan seems to confirm the latter — we desire what's familiar, and may even mature to look more like our partners the longer we stay together. ...Read More

Psychologist Robert Zajonc flipped through a series of couple photographs, first as newlyweds and then 25 years later, and found that the older the couples grew, the more they morphed to look like each other. One explanation is that we reflect the facial expressions of our partners, and so our visages grow similar patterns based on the muscles we use. But it's also likely they sort of looked alike to begin with. In a 2006 study, people were asked to assign personality traits to random head shots. Couples were mixed in, but the respondents weren't told who was dating whom. The results overwhelmingly suggested that couples were often thought to have the same kind of temperament, just based off split-second judgment.

On a superficial level of course this makes sense. God-given genetics aside, more often than not one's overall look is tampered by how you choose to style and present yourself. Perhaps for some couples keeping up appearances and a svelte figure are priorities. Some like to be flashy. Others not so much. So those who choose to spend time with one other often naturally share a similar taste in aesthetics.

Look no further than Hollywood for this phenomenon. While nobody in that town is hard on the eyes, it isn't likely you'll ever find a rumor involving say, Gwyneth Paltrow and The Situation.

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Birds Of A Feather
Why Couples Start To Look Alike
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