The 'Cheerleader Effect' Is Actually Real So Make It Work In Your Favour

It's the foundation of which K-pop is built upon.

Remember that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Barney Stinson goes on about the “cheerleader effect” – i.e the phenomenon where a person appears more attractive when in a group but not as an individual?

It turns out that TV’s greatest womaniser wasn’t talking rubbish because the “cheerleader effect” is a legit scientific thing and you actually do find someone hotter when they’re surrounded by friends compared to when they’re by themselves.

Well this explains why some K-pop groups have so many members. It’s literally the foundation for the entire industry.

Alright, don’t let it get to your head.

The results of multiple studies from 2003, 2015 and 2018 all found that participants rated both males and females as being more attractive in group photos compared to solo photos.

However, it was found that it didn’t matter how big the group was or how “hot” the people were, all that was needed for the “cheerleader effect” to work was just a bunch of friends around someone.

Sure, that’s the reason why.

Now the reason why this is a thing isn’t because someone’s “hotness” rubs off on others when they’re in a group together. Rather, it’s because of how our brains are wired to process information.

We generally don’t process every single detail in our environment. Instead, our brains summarises all this information as a group in order to not overload us with too much visual input.

When it comes to people and the “cheerleader effect,” our brains tend to focus on the whole group rather than the individual. That’s why people in groups appear to be hotter; “unattractive” individual traits are averaged out across the group like maths.

He knows what’s happening.

Since we know that this throwaway How I Met Your Mother gag is a legit thing, how can you swing this phenomenon in your favour?

For dating profiles, be sure to include a clear, labeled group photo of yourself and some mates as this will maximise your hotness while also demonstrating that you’re a social person. Don’t have more than a couple of group shots though as figuring out who you are is too much effort for many and they’ll likely swipe left.

When you’re out and about on the weekend, make sure you drag a few friends along with you to be your wing men/women. They don’t even have to say anything, just make sure they’re standing near you so that the “cheerleader effect” kicks in.

But not too close.

Who would’ve thought that there’s actual science behind this dumb Barney Stinson theory?

Never Forget: When Sacha Baron Cohen Shoved His Butt In Eminem's Face At The 2009 MTV Movie Awards

Better than the infamous MTV VMAs Tay Tay/Kanye moment that year.

It’s been 10 years since the infamous Taylor Swift/Kanye West MTV VMAs moment and the specter of that incident still lingers over the show every year. However, it pales in comparison in terms of sheer hilarity to another MTV moment that happened in the same year: Sacha Baron Cohen shoving his bare arse in an unsuspecting Eminem’s face.

Let’s set the scene. The year was 2009, the MTV Movie Awards were on, and Cohen was about to release a new film about his then-popular fictional character, Brüno.

Let’s be honest, the character of Brüno hasn’t really held up well over the last decade.

Since MTV still held a decent amount of relevance back then, Cohen decided to promote the film by appearing in character at the MTV Movie Awards. But since this is Sacha Baron Cohen we’re talking about, he went all in on it.

Presenting the award for Best Male Performance, Brüno (dressed as an angel and wearing only a jockstrap under the costume) entered the theatre by getting strapped to a bunch of wires and “flown” over the audience.

However, something went wrong with the harness and he ended up landing on top of Eminem with his bare arse right in the rapper’s face. Eminem wasn’t too pleased with some bloke’s buttcheeks pressed up right against him and he left the event in a huff after dropping a few F-bombs.

Now if this whole incident seems a little fishy, that’s because it is. Eminem later revealed that it was entirely staged and the pair (who are actually good friends IRL) practiced the stunt beforehand. The rapper said he went back to his hotel afterwards and proceeded to, ahem, laugh his arse off.

Unsurprisingly, the stunt made headlines for the sheer absurdity of it all but it was quickly overshadowed when the Taylor Swift/Kanye VMAs moment went down. It’s a bit of a shame because Sacha Baron Cohen shoving his jockstrap-wearing butt in Eminem’s face is objectively the funnier moment and deserved more of the spotlight.

For now we’ll just have to live with the thought that in another alternative universe we would’ve had Kanye shoving his bare butt in Tay Tay’s face while Sacha told Eminem “Imma let you finish”, and everyone will end up talking about the “Cohen/Eminem” moment 10 years later while Tay Tay and Kanye were left laughing their arses off in a hotel room at their ridiculous stunt.

There's A New Blood Test That'll Predict When You'll Die So That's, Uh, Nice

Is it an answer you want to know though?

We all die at some point but it would be nice to know exactly when you’ll get shuffled off this mortal coil so you can plan the rest of your life accordingly. As it so happens, scientists have actually come up with a way to (roughly) predict your life expectancy and it involves a blood test.

In a paper published in Nature Communications by the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany, researchers developed a new blood test that predicted someone’s mortality risk within five to 10 years.

Come back in few years time.

Over 44,000 healthy patients aged between 18 to 109 took part in the study, all of whom provided blood samples and had their health events tracked for up to 16 years. By measuring 14 “biomarkers” in the blood, the researchers were able to predict the likelihood of death within the next five to 10 years with an 83% accuracy rate.

Now before you go asking your local pharmacist for this magical blood test that will predict when the grim reaper is going to pay you a visit, there are a number of things to keep in mind about this study.

Firstly, the 83% accuracy rate sounds pretty good and is about 10% more accurate than other life expectancy indicators. However, a 17% error rate is too high for the blood test properly work in the real world.

Put it another way, it means 1 in 6 people will get the wrong prediction.

Not good at all.

Secondly, the test doesn’t give you the be-all-and-end-all answer of when you’ll cark it. Rather, it is a marker of your physical condition and is aimed at providing an insight into how healthy (or unhealthy) you are so you can change your lifestyle accordingly.

And lastly, there’s still much more work to be done in this specific field of research. The tested subjects were all European so there’s a lot of unknowns regarding people from other ethnic backgrounds, not to mention what happens to your life expectancy when you’re rocking pig organs instead of human ones.

Researchers say their designed test isn’t quite ready for doctors to use on patients but are hopeful it will one day be used to provide a guide on treating people with ailments less serious than the touch of death. So don’t hold your breath for this future-predicting blood test any time soon.

But hey, we’re one step closer to cracking the code of when exactly we’ll die so be patient. And besides, why stress over when you’re headed to the pearly gates when ignorance is bliss?

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