The results? On a variety of different measures, the participants were significantly more likely to choose a more attractive morphed face as being their actual face than even their nonmorphed actual face! The authors conclude, "It is perhaps of little wonder, then, that people so rarely seem to like the photographs taken of themselves. The image captured by the camera lens just doesn't match up to the image captured in the mind's eye." If you've ever been horrified to find a "bad" photo of yourself tagged on Facebook, I'm sure you can relate. The sad truth (well, for some of us it's a sadder truth than it is for others) is that that's what you really look like.
As you'll notice from my accompanying photo—which I must say looks nothing like me—the real tragedy of this story is that just when I've got a handle on hairstyles, my hairline has decided to retire into the background. But in case you're wondering, rest assured I have the necessary follicular strength in my scalp remaining for at least a dozen more glorious rattails.
In this new column presented by Scientific American Mind magazine, research psychologist Jesse Bering of Queen's University Belfast ponders some of the more obscure aspects of everyday human behavior. Ever wonder why yawning is contagious, why we point with our index fingers instead of our thumbs or whether being breastfed as an infant influences your sexual preferences as an adult? Get a closer look at the latest data as “Bering in Mind” tackles these and other quirky questions about human nature. Sign up for the RSS feed or friend Dr. Bering on Facebook and never miss an installment again.