Hey, you kinda look like me. Let’s be friends.
New York Times columnist David Brooks notes how we flock to similar-looking people:
Sean Mackinnon, Christian Jordan and Anne Wilson did research for the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in which they analyzed seating distance. They found we sit closer to people who share our physical traits. People with glasses sit closer to other people with glasses. People with long hair sit closer to other people with long hair. The assumption seems to be that people with similar physical traits will also share similar attitudes. We’re more likely to be accepted by people like us.
Furthermore, we’re more likely to socialize with folks who are immediately around us. After all, it’s much easier to ask the guy next to you what his favorite book is than the cute gal across the room. Sociologists have a word for this proximity-based clustering: propinquity.
Which suggests that—when you think back to the high school klatches of tan popular girls, pale goth dudes, or bespectacled geeks—youngsters often self-select their membership in cliques based on similar appearances.
Basically, New York media people who used to be awkward but now are hot, you all chose to hang out with losers who looked like you.
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