The Science Behind Why We Fancy Our Colleagues

New study suggests 'love at fourth sight' may by a thing

No matter how hard you try, you're unlikely to go through your career without so much as a hint of office romance. New research from Hamilton College in New York has found this might be because we spend so much time around our co-workers.

The study asked twenty-two single people to rank the attractiveness of one hundred and twelve different faces with a score out of 9. The pictures were shown on a loop, and when some faces were shown multiple times the scores increased.

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The study found that while love at first sight might not a provable concept, love at fourth sight could be - that was the point in the cycle when the biggest increase in ratings was recorded, rising steadily after that.

As well as rating the familiar faces more highly, participants brains were scanned for electrical activity and the pattern was the same – the more they saw the same faces the more the brain waves that signal excitement occurred. Psychologist Dr Ravi Thiruchselvam explained the theory to the Daily Mail.

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"Much to their surprise, people often find themselves drawn to individuals after multiple encounters, even when there was no initial attraction. Cupid's arrow is often slow to strike. An important part of the phenomenon may be attributable to the gradual change in attractiveness from repetition." 

So if you find yourself looking longingly at the woman from accounts who you've never actually spoken to, this may go some way to explaining why.