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I have taken enough psychology courses to know that people are attracted to those similar to them in personality, attitudes, and important values but no one explains how they accurately judge such characteristics (i.e. the process through which this occurs).

How do people find those who are similar in friendship and in particular potential romantic partners when they have very limited information? Is it really solely due to proximity? Are those near us more likely to be similar to us?

But I am especially curious about more superficial initial attractions such as physical appearance. How on earth do people manage to judge similarity from physical features?

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think physical appearance has anything to do with the mental connections you are talking about. It may be off topic for this group to post links to relevant research but the physical appearances within the face etc. are the initial parts of attraction on a biological level as people look for those who will be genetically compatible to produce strong offspring. And on this they are not necessarily looking for similarity as that would weaken the genetics within the child $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Sep 2 '16 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Related question: cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/5129/… - basically, people do not accurately judge even their own preferences, let alone the characteristics of others. How people actually choose partners is still a big mystery. $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg Sep 4 '16 at 4:43

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