By now, you've probably seen at least a couple of babies who look like old people. But this deceiving image isn't exclusive to the tiniest ones. Bored Panda has collected a list of childhood photos where kids also appear to be at least a couple of decades in decay, and they're just as hilarious. From a 10-year-old sassy grandma to a 40-year-old receptionist attending 4th grade, you'd think these unfortunate folks would be the ones pinching your cheeks at the next family reunion. Truth is, they will actually be on the receiving end instead. Scroll down, enjoy, and upvote your faves!
My Friend's Baby Pictures Look Like Mrs. Doubtfire
If you're worried about your embarrassing photos that might one day crawl out of your hard drive and spread over the Internet, don't be. We all are. In fact, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the person staring back at you looks so very unfamiliar, even though that person is you. The answer to why you hate seeing photos of yourself is mirrors. The explanation given in a TED talk by photographer Duncan Davidson, for example, explains how "perception, mirrors, and the uncanny valley make us hate photos of ourselves."
Back in 1977, in a study titled "Reversed Facial Images and the Mere-Exposure Hypothesis," psychologists Theodore H. Mita, Marshall Dermer, and Jeffrey Knight concluded that "individuals will prefer a facial photograph that corresponds to their mirror image rather than to their true image." As the title of the study suggests, everything has to do with something called the mere-exposure effect.
I Looked Like A Middle Aged Man When I Was A Child
The mere-exposure effect was first proposed in the 1960s by Stanford psychologist, Robert Zajonc. According to Gizmodo, "In its simplest terms, the mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon whereby a person develops a preference for a stimulus based solely on his or her repeated exposure to (and subsequent familiarity with) it. The effect has been demonstrated with an array of stimuli (words, paintings, sounds) and across cultures. It's even been observed in other species."
When It’s Your First Day Of Kindergarten And Also Your First Day As Head Of The PTA
So the truth is, if photograph-you looked like mirror-image you, in a way, everyone else would think you look bizarre. The same researchers, who showed a person is more likely to prefer a facial photograph that corresponds to their mirror image rather than their true image, also demonstrated that the opposite was true when the images were shown to the person's friends. So, again, don't worry about it. Photograph-you looks great.