Why some couples look alike

February 11, 2006

Facial characteristics can be indicative of personality traits and may be why some couples may look similar, says a University of Liverpool study.

The researchers -- in collaboration with the University of Durham and the University of St. Andrews -- asked participants to judge perceived age, attractiveness and personality traits of real-life married couples.

Photographs of female faces were viewed separately from male faces, so participants were unaware of who was married to whom.

"There is widespread belief that couples, particularly those who have been together for many years, look similar to each other," said Dr. Tony Little.

"To understand why this happens, we looked at the assumptions that people make about a person's personality, based on facial characteristics," said Little, "we found that perceptions of age, attractiveness and personality were very similar between male and female couples."

If the female face was rated as "sociable" then her partner was also more likely to be rated as "sociable," said Little.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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