Maybe opposites don’t attract — but “doppelbangers” do.
A play on doppelgänger — the German word for a nearly identical look-alike, the term “doppelbanger” is used to describe couples who look similar and now, there’s a scientific explanation for their attraction.
People are, in fact, more attracted to those who look like them, a new study published in Evolution and Human Behavior found.
Researchers from the University of Queensland Australia recruited 682 heterosexual participants and recorded a total of 2,285 speed-dating interactions in the lab.
About half of the interactions took place with partners of the same ethnicity and the other half with partners of different ethnicities.
Participants interacted in three-minute speed-dating-esque rounds before completing a questionnaire to rate the facial attractiveness and perceived kindness of their partner.
The study concluded that people with similar facial features rated each other as more attractive. Participants of the same ethnicity were also more likely to consider each other more attractive than those of a different ethnicity.
However, ethnicity did not seem to influence ratings of kindness as those with similar facial features rated each other as more kind, regardless of being of the same ethnicity or not.
“Some have proposed that long-term shared lifestyles result in a convergence of physical likeness, but there is mixed evidence regarding this possibility,” the researchers noted.
However, it appears that the once-believed theory that married couples begin to look alike after years together — which came from the University of Michigan in 1987 — was debunked in 2020 with research from Stanford University.
The experts also believe their findings to be true claiming that having a similar appearance sparks a sense of kinship instinctively causing people to feel comfort, familiarity and belonging with those who look like them.
The study also found that facial features considered more masculine were positively associated with attractiveness for men and negatively for women.
The psychologists interpreted their findings as evidence of “a genetic basis for what kind of faces we find attractive” noting that “preferences for certain facial features potentially evolved due to fitness benefits signaled by those features.”
But this is far from the first time dopplebangers and masculine versus feminine features have been studied.
Norwegian scientists at the Universities of Oslo and Tromsø conducted a 2013 study where test subjects were shown alterations to their partner’s face and asked to determine which variety they found to be the most appealing.
While there have been other studied and “mixed evidence” of the link between facial similarity and ratings of attractiveness, the researchers believe these new findings to be reliable noting that most other studies have relied on images of real or digitally altered faces while this new study analyzed in-person interactions.