Jon Maner, an assistant professor of psychology at the Florida State University, has published a paper called "Can't Take My Eyes Off You: Attentional Adhesion to Mates and Rivals," reports Science Daily. Basically, he discovered that heterosexual men and women fixate on highly attractive people within the first half of a second upon seeing them. Maner found that single people stare at members of the opposite sex, but those in committed relationships ogle beautiful people of the same sex (perceived romantic rivals, according to the study). The experiments were set up so that photos flashed in front of participants on a computer screen. Immediately afterward, the participants were required to look at something else on the screen. Using a precise measure of reaction time, Maner found that it took the participants longer to shift their attention away from the photos of the highly attractive people. And here's where things get interesting:
"It may be helpful to try to minimize our exposure to these images that have probably been 'doctored,'" Maner said. "We should pay attention to all of the regular-looking people out in the world so that we have an appropriate standard of physical beauty. This is important because too much attention to ultra-attractive people can damage self-esteem as well as satisfaction with a current romantic partner."
It always comes back to magazines, doesn't it? Tell it to Faith Hill.