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