Cheerleader Effect: People Look Better In Groups

The cheerleader effect is that people appear more attractive in a group. It is explained by the averaging effect of the group.

The so-called ‘cheerleader effect’ is the phenomenon that people seem more attractive when they are in a group than when they are alone.

At least, so urban legend has it.

But now the cheerleader effect has scientific backing from a study published recently in Psychological Science (Walker & Vul, 2013).

In fact, the study finds that both men and women are perceived as more attractive when they are in a group than when alone.

Explaining the cheerleader effect

The effect is the result of the way we look at groups and what people, on average, deem an attractive face.

Generally people find ‘average’ faces most attractive.

When psychologists say ‘average’ in this sense, they mean if you average out the faces of lots of different people.

They don’t mean people who are average-looking.

Lead author of the study, Drew Walker, explains:

“Average faces are more attractive, likely due to the averaging out of unattractive idiosyncrasies.

Perhaps it’s like Tolstoy’s families: Beautiful people are all alike, but every unattractive person is unattractive in their own way.”

The cheerleader effect comes about, then, because when we look at a group of people, we see them as a group, and our brains average out their facial features.

In the study, people’s faces were shown to participants either alone or in group photos.

Sure enough, both men and women were rated more highly when presented in a group than when alone.

The effect was small but still noticeable.

The study’s co-author, Edward Vul, joked:

“The effect is definitely small, but some of us need all the help we can get.”

This leads to the idea that you might try to hang out with people whose ‘less average’ features complement your own.

The authors hint at some future research:

“If the average is more attractive because unattractive idiosyncrasies tend to be averaged out, then individuals with complementary facial features — one person with narrow eyes and one person with wide eyes, for example — would enjoy a greater boost in perceived attractiveness when seen together, as compared to groups composed of individuals who have more similar features.”  (Walker & Vul, 2013).


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How to Use Google Ads Optimization Score to Create Ads That Convert

Writing the perfect Google advert takes time, creativity, and countless hours for testing.

But you don’t have those hours, and you wish there was a way to test multiple ads per ad group without spending too much of your valuable and limited time.

Well, there is! It’s called Google Optimization Score and can be found in the Google Ads recommendations section.

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The optimization score is an estimation of how well your Google ads are set to perform. Along with the score, which runs from 0 to 100%, you’ll see personalized recommendations that can help you optimize your campaigns.

Google Ads recommendations help you create better ads based on the campaign goals you’ve specified in your account. You can choose to apply or dismiss the recommendations with one click, and your optimization score will reflect the changes to help you keep track of your progress.

In this article, we’ll break down the essentials for using Google Ads Optimization score to improve your advertising strategy and drive better results for your business.


  • What the Google Ads Optimization Score is.
  • The differences between types of Google Ads recommendations.
  • How to improve your ads with Optimization Score and other recommendations.

Discover the Best Google Ads Tools and Settings for your Business

Google Ads can be a tricky subject for even the most advanced marketers. This is why we want to invite you to our live webinar, hosted by Casey Lynn and Sebastian Nordström from Google, where we’ll cover the best Google tools designed to support you at each phase of the marketing journey.

  • Planning your objectives with Google’s Keyword Planner
  • Implementing your strategy with AdEspresso and Google Ads
  • Optimizing performance with Optimization Score
  • Monitoring success with Google Insights

Sign up today to learn which Google tools can set your business up for success in 2021!

What are Google Ads recommendations?

Google Ads is an invaluable advertising channel; Google Ads get 65% of clicks following a keyword search (versus just 35% for your standard organic keyword searches).

Recommendations on Google Ads are automatic, tailored suggestions that help advertisers get more out of their Google Ads campaigns. In many cases, recommendations identify opportunities to improve click-through-rate (CTR) or increase conversions. In other cases, they can help you reach more of the right people or increase return on ad spend (ROAS).

How to Use Google Ads Suggestions to Improve Conversion

How to Use Google Ads Suggestions to Improve Conversion


Machine learning is what powers the optimization score and facilitates the personalized recommendations. Google analyzes your ads and your conversion data to identify what’s performing best. From there, it creates variations and suggests improvements for you to try out.

This process happens continuously: variations are tested, the results are processed to determine best performers,…

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How to Hire a Contract Recruiter

Many HR managers know the pressure that comes with unexpected attrition, leave of absence, or volatile hiring swings. The need to fill an open position urgently can quickly send the HR department into a tailspin. Often, the department has to divert resources to recruiting, neglecting other crucial core duties. A contract recruiter brings the experience and expertise needed to resolve hiring challenges quickly at a fraction of the cost of onboarding a permanent recruiter.

The Easy Parts of Hiring a Contract Recruiter

The good news is that you won’t have to struggle to find a good contract recruiter. Many seasoned professionals are choosing to go their own way for various reasons. Whether it’s building professional networks, freedom, or flexibility, the talent pool is jam-packed with highly competent and experienced contract recruiters.

Application tracking software such as JazzHR makes the collaborative process even easier. The software helps with the entire recruiting process, including candidate sourcing, offer letters, and automated onboarding.

JazzHR is the perfect tool if you’re bringing in a contractor. The software offers collaborative hiring features and doesn’t charge on a per-user payment plan. You get unlimited users on all its plans. The basic plan, Hero, costs just $39 per month. You can upgrade to the higher tiers to enjoy unlimited open jobs.

JazzHR offers a free 30-day trial if you’d like to try out the software before committing.

The Difficult Parts of Hiring a Contract Recruiter

The hardest part of this process may be deciding precisely what type of contract recruiter you need.

There are two types of contract recruiters. The line between a contract recruiter and a recruiting agency that specializes in contract hiring is often blurred.

A contract recruiter generally…

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15 Ways to Learn from Someone You Disagree With

The person next to me on the flight was slightly abrasive and borderline obnoxious. I had only tried to be polite and say “Hello” when I sat down but he took the opportunity to launch into a what’s-wrong-with-the-world tirade. Repeated attempts to work on my computer failed to dissuade my fellow traveler.

I admit I didn’t see this as an opportunity to learn anything. At best I was hoping to endure until this guy ran out of steam. But I got lucky when he said something particularly disagreeable. I didn’t argue. I just asked, “Why do you feel that way?”

He paused and considered his response. “That’s a good question. I hadn’t thought about it much.” With that, the conversation turned less oppressive.

The background and experiences he shared helped me understand why he was wound up. It didn’t make his point of view right or wrong, only different. When I took a genuine interest in what he was saying, he became less unpleasant and more relatable. 

Learning from people I disagree with isn’t easy but it is almost always worthwhile. If you only converse with those who share the same point of view for the same reasons, you’ll feel validated and maybe vindicated but you won’t learn anything.

Choosing to learn from those who think differently challenges your thinking, identifies blind spots, broadens your perspective, creates connection and maybe builds a bridge to a relationship.

So how do mere mortals like us do that?

  1. Jordan Peterson says it well, “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.”
  2. A close second: remember that nobody is always right or always wrong. We all have a mix of informed, uninformed and ill-informed opinions. Dropping the belief that you are always more right than others is an exercise in humility, and a reality check.
  3. Understand why someone thinks differently than you, not just what they think differently about. You’ll learn much more from why they feel a certain way than just what they disagree about.
  4. Treat the exchange like an inquiry, not an inquisition. When people feel challenged they usually get defensive.
  5. Look for what you agree about and use that as a foundation. Build from whatever you can and do agree about.
  6. Validate the other by expressing you hadn’t considered their point of view.
  7. Ask them to explain why they disagree with what you are saying.
  8. Appreciate that a difference of experience can easily create a difference of perspective.
  9. Acknowledge that people draw different conclusions from the same experiences.
  10. If you disagree, do it politely.
  11. Don’t just disagree, but explain why.
  12. Recap what you think the other person is saying to make sure you understand correctly.
  13. Admit when you don’t have enough information to know if something is true or not.
  14. Use the phrase, “In my experience.” Others can disagree with your conclusion but not what happened to you.
  15. Thank the person for expanding your perspective (if you are truly appreciative).

I hope you don’t…

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How Many Emotions Are There?

Analysis of the 42 facial muscles which create emotional expressions reveals how many emotions there are.

How many basic human emotions are there?

Well, it depends who you believe.

Robert Plutchik, whose theories on the emotions were influential, thought there were eight primary emotions:

  1. anger
  2. fear
  3. sadness
  4. disgust
  5. surprise
  6. anticipation
  7. trust
  8. joy

He arranged them in a wheel to emphasise the idea that emotions can blend with each other, like colours, to create new emotions.

On the wheel shown below, the most intense emotions are in the middle, with milder emotions towards the outside.

Six basic emotions

Until recently many psychologists went along with the idea that there are six basic emotions:

  1. happiness
  2. sadness
  3. fear
  4. disgust
  5. anger
  6. surprise

This theory is largely down to psychologist Paul Eckman who came up with the scheme in the 1970s.

It is based on research finding that across different and varied cultures these six emotions are universally recognised.

Later on, though, Eckman added many more emotions to the list including amusement, awe, contentment, desire, embarrassment, pain, relief and sympathy.

Four basic emotions

More recent research from the University of Glasgow has challenged the established view that there are six basic emotions: anger, fear, surprise, disgust, happiness and sadness.

Instead there may only be four.

To reach their conclusions, Jack et al. (2014) looked at how the muscles in the face move when expressing a variety of emotions.

They found that fear and surprise shared a common signal — the eyes are wide open — suggesting they only constitute one basic emotion, not two.

Similarly, for anger and disgust they found that the nose initially wrinkles.

Anger and disgust may, therefore, constitute only one basic emotion.

No anger and disgust?

None of this is to say that anger and disgust don’t exist as separate emotions, of course they do.

Rather it’s to suggest that anger and disgust only become obvious after the facial emotion has been given time to evolve, even if this development typically only takes a fraction of a second.

The authors argue that the facial expression associated with the basic emotions have an evolutionary function.

Lead author Dr. Rachael Jack said:

“First, early danger signals confer the best advantages to others by enabling the fastest escape.

Secondly, physiological advantages for the expresser–the wrinkled nose prevents inspiration of potentially harmful particles, whereas widened eyes increases intake of visual information useful for escape–are enhanced when the face movements are made early.”

Building blocks of emotion

The theory is that there are four biologically basic emotions — anger, fear, happiness and sadness — on top of which have evolved much more complex varieties of emotion over the millennia.

This doesn’t suggest that our emotions are any less complex, just that the basic building blocks could be four rather than six.

After all, the full complexity of life on earth is made possible from a sequence of just four nucleobases in DNA, commonly abbreviated to the letters G, A, T and C (guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine).

It’s the development of facial emotions over time that gives them their complexity:

“What our research shows is that not all facial muscles appear simultaneously during facial expressions, but…

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How to Cut Your Bounce Rate in Half with Interactive Content



You can grow your blog in two ways:

  1. Get more traffic.
  2. Do more with the traffic you have.

In my opinion, you should do both even though most people focus on the first option.

Those bloggers don’t realize they’re losing a large chunk of their traffic before it even has a chance to convert.

One of the best ways to see how well you’re using your traffic is to look at your bounce rate.

The average bounce rate across all industries is about 45%. Bounce rates just for blogs are usually higher as illustrated in the image above.

But that’s just the average. Some sites have bounce rates in the 20s, while others have bounce rates in the 80s.

If 4 out of 5 visitors leave your site immediately, there’s a problem—likely multiple problems.

Compare that to a 20% bounce rate (1 in 5 visitors leaving without interacting). This lower bounce rate means that you would only need a quarter of the traffic of the other site to get the same engagement results.

There are many ways to improve your bounce rate, but in this article, I want to show you an underutilized way of reducing your website’s bounce rate and increasing all aspects of engagement.

The main problem is that you need visitors to take action to reduce your bounce rate. But people are notoriously passive on the Internet.

The 1% rule states that only 1% of forum users will actually post on a forum, while the rest will passively lurk:



We see the same kind of behavior on blogs, where typically about one visitor out of 100 will comment (depends on subject and article).

In fact,…

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The Most Neglected and Misunderstood Tool of Leadership

The Most Neglected and Misunderstood Tool of Leadership

Your most powerful tool of influence isn’t a strategy or technique. It’s a person.

Your most powerful tool of influence is you.

Brene’ Brown, author of, Daring Greatly, writes, “We must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.”

Hiding behind position, title, and image weakens influence and dilutes relationships.

You don’t have to put your worst foot forward, but “best-foot leaders” give false impressions and create unrealistic expectations.

Peeking. Life's most powerful lessons come to us through the vulnerability of others.

Frailty and failure:

Why hide the shaping influences on your life?

Begin your next team meeting by asking everyone to complete this sentence. “One of the things I learned from failure is….” (Answer it yourself, first.)

Healthy vulnerability strengthens connection and amplifies influence.

Advantages of letting yourself be seen:

#1. Growth. You grow and others develop when people see the real you.

Life’s most powerful lessons come to us through the vulnerability of others.

#2. Charm. Forward-facing vulnerability invites people to connect.

#3. Validation. Vulnerability is permission for others to be human.

#4. Challenge. Challenging yourself makes challenging others authentic.

#5. Humility. You develop humility when you take off your fake face and lead with your real foot.

#6. Confidence. People feel less like idiots when you share what you learned from screwing up.

#7. Friendship. You develop relationships with the “right” people when you let people see the real you.

Smiling baby. People feel less like idiots when you share what you learned from screwing up.

7 ways to let yourself be seen:

  1. Declare beliefs.
  2. Share values and intentions.
  3. Expose motivations.
  4. Tell your story. (Life Story Exercise)
  5. Reveal lessons from mistakes.
  6. Discuss learnings. Say, “I hadn’t thought of that,” instead of pretending you knew all along.
  7. Share influences. What are you reading? Who are your mentors, coaches, and teachers?

Tip: Novices – with a growth mindset – exert powerful influence when they let themselves be seen.

The most neglected and misunderstood tool of leadership is letting yourself be seen.

What is healthy transparency and vulnerability? Unhealthy?

What have you learned from screwing up?

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A Cognitive Sign Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12 deficiency is relatively easy to correct with a change in diet or supplementation.

A poor memory can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency, studies find.

People with a vitamin B12 deficiency sometimes have worse memories for both events and ideas.

Indeed, low levels of vitamin B12 and folate have both been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Folates include vitamin B9, folacin and folic acid.

Memory problems are one of the key symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

This link has been observed by researchers for more than three decades.

A deficiency in B12 or folate can cause higher levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the body.

Homocysteine has a neurotoxic effect and could lead to neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s.

One study followed 370 people over 75-years-old for three years.

In that time, 78 had developed Alzheimer’s disease, with more than half having a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.

Dr Hui-Xin Wang, the study’s first author, said:

“In our study, we found that low levels of either of these two vitamins were related to an increased Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Monitoring B12 and folate levels is important in order to avoid unfavorable conditions, even for those elderly people who are quite healthy in terms of cognition.”

The good news is that B12 deficiency is relatively easy to correct with a change in diet or supplementation.

Good sources of vitamin B12 include liver, beef, fish, poultry, eggs and low-fat milk.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

People who may have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 include vegetarians and vegans, older people and those with some digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.

If taking supplements, be careful not to have more than 2 mg per day — any more could be harmful.

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Wang et al., 2019).

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The 29 Instagram Statistics You Need to Know in 2021

Are you struggling with your Instagram marketing strategy and you don’t know why? Or are you a newbie that wants to get off to a good start? Wherever you are in your path, Instagram statistics can help you get the results you deserve.

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In this post, we’re going to take a look at the most important Instagram statistics that you need to know in 2020 in order to build your strategies and create your campaigns.

General Instagram Statistics

1. As of January 2020, there are nearly 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram. 

1 Billion is a big number, and it positions Instagram behind Facebook (2.8 billion) but ahead of most other social network sites, including Twitter (which has a “reachable” audience of 353 million) and Pinterest (459 million).

You can see the rapid growth dating back from 2013 in the graph from Statista below:

Instagram statistics of monthly active users from 2013 to 2018, showing growth year over year Instagram statistics of monthly active users from 2013 to 2018, showing growth year over year

Source: Statista

2. 500 million people use Instagram Stories daily.

It’s a high-engaging feature and you don’t want to miss out on it, especially since the same number of people who browse the site daily are also checking out their Stories content.

3. Instagram Ads typically cost more than Facebook Ads… but are still worth it

A lot of people shy away from Instagram Ads because the average CPC is higher than it is on Facebook, pretty consistently. You still shouldn’t write them off, though, because engagement rates on Instagram are through the roof.

As long as your audience is on Instagram, you get what you pay for.

Graph showing Instagram CPC costs

Graph showing Instagram CPC costs

4. Instagram advertising has a potential reach of 928.5 million.

While the majority of those 928.5 million likely won’t align with your target audience, that potential reach is so high that it’s almost guaranteed that a significant chunk of your target audience can be found within it.

Instagram User Statistics

5. Some Instagrammers have high levels of disposable income.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the most important demographic information we have for Instagram: a good chunk of them are ready (and able) to open their wallets and bust out the credit cards and spend.

Here’s what they found:

  • 31% of people who make more than 75k per year are on Instagram
  • 32% of people who make between 50k-74k per year are on Instagram
  • 32% of people who bring in 30k to 49k per year are on Instagram.

6. 71% of U.S. adults between the ages of 18-29 are using Instagram.

Right now,…

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