Crowdfunding to find out what makes people attractive

Psychology researchers from Swansea University have launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund research that will examine what contributes most to people’s attractiveness.

Previous research has already shown that attributes like facial symmetry, humour and strength influence attraction, but only when creating “hypothetical” partners in artificial scenarios. In this research, Swansea University reports Dr Andrew G Thomas and Dr Alex Jones will measure the characteristics of volunteers (humour, intelligence, strength, voice pitch etc) and use the information to calculate what contributes most to their attractiveness, using novel statistical approaches.

Andrew Thomas said “In an age where billions of pounds are spent worldwide on make-up and bogus penis enlargement pills, there is clearly a great public interest in what individuals can do to enhance their attractiveness. This research could answer the question: ‘If I could change one thing about myself to make me more attractive, what should that be?’ Previous studies have only examined what people find attractive in isolation, whereas with this study, we want to explore the attributes of hundreds of living, breathing people to establish what exactly makes someone hot or not.”

Both researchers have previously gained global media coverage for their individual research projects. Andrew Thomas, who specialises evolutionary psychology and mating preferences, showed in his last study that wealth drives a preference for short-term relationships, while Alex Jones revealed how people’s facial shape and colour give clues to how healthy someone might be.

For this groundbreaking study, the researchers aim to raise £3,000 through the crowdfunding campaign that will mainly be dedicated to participant payments. People who donate to the crowdfunding campaign will receive exclusive access to a provisional report of the research findings before they are published in a research journal.

Alex Jones said “Scientists and artists have been researching what beauty is for thousands of years, uncovering many factors we find attractive. To date, no study has combined all of these factors, both physical and mental, to see what really catches our eye. Using advanced statistical approaches, we will be able to extract the factors important men and women.”

You can find out more about the research project, or donate, here.

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