Don't Marry a Younger Partner

While it may feel all right, having a younger partner entails certain disadvantages that you may not be aware of… Like looking much, much older than you really are.


A study carried out by German psychologists from Jena University affirms that when an older person is seen in company of younger friends or colleagues or with a younger partner, the age difference is accentuated rather than obliterated. The gap is so obvious that it makes a casual onlooker believe that it is greater than it really is.

The trick also works the other way round – encircled by older family members or colleagues you can make other people believe you are a deal younger than you are. Here’s psychology for you, we are so often judged not for what we are, but in comparison with those next to us.

The Jena University research project known by the title Person Perception consisted of a series of experiments in which people tried to guess the age of an unknown individual. Both the group of guessers and the group of people whose age was to be estimated comprised volunteers of a wide range of ages.

When the individual was observed alone or among people of roughly the same age, it was ascertained that most of the people could tell his or her age fairly accurately. But when the individual was with a group of people way younger or older than they, the observers were wrong most of the time, evidently misled by age gap.

Even when those participating in the experiment were shown a photo of a middle aged person after a number of photos of people who were much older, they were apt to make mistakes about the age. While the mistakes covered a wide range, their average made the person on the photo “substantially younger” than he or she actually was.

The researchers state that these mistakes occur with people of any age or gender alike.

According to psychologist Stefan Schweinberger, the perception of a face is a highly subjective phenomenon that is prone to change.

It was suggested in the study that many people may believe the founder of the Playboy magazine to be definitely older than he is in reality due to his preference of younger women.

The study appeared in a recent issue of the Vision Research journal.

Source of the image: Photl.