Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The More Often, The Prettier

By Bonita Li

Do you know what is exposure-effect? It means that the more frequently we see a person, the prettier we think he or she is. You may find it unbelievable, it is true though.

Let's imagine that there are four girls in the lecture hall. These girls are more or less the same in appearance. None of them is too ugly that you can't look at her a second longer. The first girl won' t go to the lecture hall unless the seminar is compulsory, the second girl seldom comes, the third girl comes regularly, and the fourth girl attends every lessons.

You may have little contact with them. For example, you may have asked them to move over in order to let you sit down or they may have held the door for you. However, you can hardly recall these memories and cannot be friend with them. If I show you their pictures one day and ask who you think is the prettiest, you will probably answer the girl who comes to the class every time. This is the answer of most people.

Richard Moreland and Scott Beach conducted a similar experiment in'92. Boys in class were asked to rate the girls who attended the lectures with different levels. Always, the girl who attended lectures most often was perceived as most attractive, smart and easy-going.

Therefore, the more we see a person, the nicer we would think they are. It seems to be logical in explaining why our best friends usually don't live that far away from each other, and how lovers grow day by day. This is named as mere exposure effect, which is discovered by Robert Zajonc. He showed these facts while he was studying, but instead of women, he used Chinese characters.

He had conducted 200 more experiments and the same results came up. The way our brain operates is really strange.

However, reality is different from experiments. Our judgment of a person can be influenced by many factors. For instance, this theory does not apply if you listen to your beloved song continuously for many times. You will be sick of it instead of loving it more. Nonstop bombardment may lead to a negative consequence.

You may wonder whether this theory will still apply if the girl who sits beside you at the first place is ugly. In this case, i believe it will not help even if you see her everyday.

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