Are Attractive People More Memorable?

Pic for Friday Blog

Does being considered “attractive” make you more memorable? Scientists report that attractiveness doesn’t mean that people easily recognize you. In fact, new research demonstrates that people recognize more unique faces first. This means that Shrek is more memorable than Barbie, for instance.



Classifying beauty“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

For years, scientists have questioned whether there is a measurement or ratio that can be used to rate or capture facial beauty. Many assume that it’s easier for people to recognize or memorize faces of those considered attractive.

Distinctive facial features are more memorable
Researchers at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Germany discovered, through recent studies, that people actually found it easier to recognize or memorize faces of those considered less attractive. The only exception was for attractive people with distinctive features, such as full lips, unique eyes or facial marks, such as a mole or dimples, which make these individuals stand out.

For this research study, participants reviewed photos of people’s faces – half were considered more attractive, and the other half were identified as less attractive. Study participants were allowed only a few seconds to look at each photo. Later they were asked to identify the faces they recognized. The participants were more likely to recognize faces in the less attractive group than those considered more attractive.

Interestingly, researchers report that the photos of the more attractive faces led to more false positives, due to participants claiming to recognize attractive faces in photos that were not part of the study.

According to researchers, study results demonstrate that if you are what society deems attractive, but have nondescript features, people may be more likely to remember someone next to you who is less attractive; especially if that person has a unique feature, such as high cheekbones or a distinctive nose.

But remember, you’re unique and wonderful just the way you are – it’s just an interesting study.


To learn more, review the research report provided by Science Daily.