Do most of your friends wear glasses or have tattoos like you do? Turns out that humans are hard-wired to have more positive regard for individuals who have similar physical characteristics.
A paper that included four separate studies reinforced the theory that individuals tend to associate with those who are similar to themselves. These similar factors include, but are not limited to, sex, race, hair color and length, and even wearing glasses. This tendency may arise because when you see someone who looks similar to yourself, you feel more comfortable talking to them, potentially leading to lasting friendships and relationships.
While the findings of this study may seem like minor behavior phenomena, this could have larger societal implications. When we choose to sit next to people who are akin to us, we miss out on opportunity to establish relationships with individuals who are different from ourselves. Because of our world’s recurring issues that stem from racial, religious, and cultural segregation, there is a need to do more in-depth research on this topic. Hopefully we can gain a better understanding of why we seek out people who are similar to us in order to find a way to initiate more diverse relationships, as well.