By Gordon Rugg and Amy Martin
There are regularities in human desire. Often, though, the actual regularities are subtly but profoundly different from the apparent regularities.
In this article, we’ll look at one of these regularities. It starts with a significant insight from an article whose title neatly sums up a key finding, and implicitly raises a key question.
The article is a 1991 paper by Alley and Cunningham in Psychological Science. The title is: “Average faces are attractive, but very attractive faces are not average.” The implicit question is: “Why?”
There’s been a lot of work in this area. In this article, we’ll examine how a simple change in the way you represent the data can give powerful new insights into what’s actually going on, and into what you can do about it.