People choice a lot of different type of pictures to use for their online profiles. Some people use head shots of themselves, while others use pictures of their spouses, pets, children, or some other symbol. The wide variety of photos being used to represent people on social media, researchers at the University of California decided look at what causes a person to be perceived as attractive. Drew Walker and Edward Vul, who headed the study, said that a photo with friends conveys that a person is amiable and well liked, but that is not what makes a person more appealing. Their research found that individual faces appear more attractive when presented in a group as opposed to being presented alone. This perception driven effect is known as the cheerleader effect, because other studies have found that people perceive cheerleaders look better as a group than alone. Walker and Vul suggest that the effect is a result of the way the brain averages images. In a group, we tend to see individual members as being more like the group and perceive each face as similar to the average of all the faces in that crowd. They found that group size is less important. While they admit that some of the effect may be due to group scenes conveying social or emotional information, from the perspective of someone else, being part of makes people seem more attractive overall.—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell
The Cheerleader Effect, By Cindy May, http://news.yahoo.com/cheerleader-effect-123500090.html, Accessed December 3, 2013
John 7:24 (NASB) "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."