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Study couples do not look the same, but find people with similar facial features


It's a phenomenon that has fascinated scientists for decades – couples tend to look alike over time.

The idea first emerged in 1987 when researchers from the University of Michigan suggested that years of shared emotions lead to closer similarities due to similar folds and expressions.

Now, a team from Stanford University is taking another look at the theory and realizing that people don't look like their significant other, but choose them based on their similar facial features.

The results suggest that when it comes to finding a partner with the same values ​​and personality traits, when it comes to finding a partner with the same values ​​and personality traits, people are looking for a partner with the same characteristics.

A team at Stanford University re-examines the theory and finds that people don't look like their significant other, but choose them based on their similar facial features. Pictured are actors and spouses Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell

The theory that couples share similar characteristics was started by a team at the University of Michigan that used photos of couples when they were first married and 25 years later.

After comparing the images, the scientists concluded that "the apparent similarity actually increases after 25 years of living together".

"Two people who live with each other over a long period of time due to repeated empathic mimicry would physically resemble each other in their facial features," says the 1987 study.

"Kin likeness may therefore not only be a question of shared genes, but also a question of ongoing social contact."

The idea that people look like their significant other was seen by a number of prominent couples, including actor Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta Washington. The theory that couples share similar characteristics was started by a team at the University of Michigan that used photos of couples when they were first married and 25 years later

The idea that people look like their significant other has been seen by a number of celebrity couples, including actor Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta Washington. The theory that couples share similar characteristics was started by a team at the University of Michigan that used photos of couples when they were first married and 25 years later

This study looked at facial images of 517 couples taken at the beginning of their marriage and 20 to 69 years later. The volunteers were shown the pictures and told there was a target to be compared to six other faces - one of which was the target's spouse

This study looked at facial images of 517 couples taken at the beginning of their marriage and 20 to 69 years later. The volunteers were shown the pictures and told there was a target to be compared to six other faces – one of which was the target's spouse

The idea of ​​people looking like their significant other has been seen by a number of celebrity couples, including actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta Washington, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, and singer Christina Aguilera and her partner Matthew Rutler.

However, a group from Stanford University reopened the 1987 case to see how much weight the results put.

They found that "the spouses' faces were similar at the beginning of their marriage, but did not converge over time," says the new study published in Scientific Reports.

This study looked at facial images of 517 couples taken at the beginning of their marriage and 20 to 69 years later.

The volunteers were shown the pictures and told there was a “target” to be compared to six other faces – one of which was the target's spouse.

The judges participating in the study were then asked to compare the target person to the other six based on their similarity.

Volunteers were able to pair the target with their spouse regardless of when it was taken, and also found that the spouses' faces became a little less similar over time.

"This shows that the judges were as consistent in rating the similarity of the faces of young people (taken several decades ago) as the faces of older people (taken more recently)," the study says.

The second part of the study used facial recognition technology to assess similarities.

In the second part of the study, facial recognition technologies were used to assess similarities. According to the scientists, this technology has been shown to outperform humans in assessing facial similarity, but gives results similar to those of the volunteers

The second part of the study used facial recognition technology to assess similarities. According to the scientists, this technology has been shown to outperform humans in assessing facial similarity, but gives results similar to those of the volunteers

The results suggest that when it comes to finding a partner with the same values ​​and personality traits, when it comes to finding a partner with the same values ​​and personality traits, people are looking for a partner with the same characteristics. Pictured are the singer Christina Aguilera and her partner Matthew Rutler, who are said to have similar characteristics

The results suggest that when it comes to finding a partner with the same values ​​and personality traits, when it comes to finding a partner with the same values ​​and personality traits, people are looking for a partner with the same characteristics. Pictured are the singer Christina Aguilera and her partner Matthew Rutler, who are said to have similar characteristics

According to the scientists, this technology has been shown to outperform humans in assessing facial similarity, but gives results similar to the volunteers.

"We find no support for the widespread convergence of the physical appearance hypothesis: the faces of the spouses are similar but do not converge over time," wrote Stanford scientists in the document.

"This aligns the appearance of the face with other traits such as interests, personality, intelligence, attitudes, values, and wellbeing that are initially similar but do not converge over time."

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