At some point in our lives, we all feel that some strangers feel so familiar or we think that we have seen them somewhere.
This is because our brain can recognize a person in just thousandths of a second. Not only that it even forms its first impression and retain the features of that face in that fraction of the time.
According to the research done by Benoit Monin, assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University, finds out that attractive people more often seem familiar. The professor showed the students 80 photo faces and asked them to recognize the 40 persons of the earlier session in those 80 pictures. The students mostly seemed familiar with the attractive faces irrespective of whether they have seen them before or not. This tendency of recognizing or feeling familiar with the attractive faces is known as “HALO EFFECT.”
Psychologists also believe that attractiveness is the possible reason for the familiarity concept. But according to the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, it is believed that “warm-glow heuristic” is the reason which is one step ahead of the halo effect. This says that it is due to the affinity for a specific person or place which acts an indicator for familiarity concept. Affinity means a natural liking for and understanding of someone or something.
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In another study, people were shown a set of words first. Then, they were given another set of words and were asked to find the words which appeared in the first set. Most of them selected the positive sounding words than the negative-sounding words. It means people feel familiar with the positive words.
Another reason for the familiarity concept is that we usually compare the traits of the new people we meet with the people we know. Thus we feel that the person is familiar to the person you already know. Remember each person is unique in his own way. Only some traits may match but there will be many traits which do not match as well.