Whether the resemblance to his grandfather has been inherited and/or surgically enhanced, it sure can’t hurt Kim Jong-Un, his late father’s handpicked successor to lead North Korea, psychologist Robert Bornstein says. He’ll likely benefit from the experience many of us have had of feeling warmly toward a person we’ve just met simply because they resemble someone we like.
“We tend to prefer things that seem familiar over the things that seem unfamiliar, all other things being equal,” says Bornstein, a psychology professor at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y. “People will prefer a familiar-looking face over one that is less familiar.”
Psychologists call this phenomenon “the mere-exposure effect,” as in the mere exposure to someone or something leads to liking him or it. “It’s actually very powerful,” says Bornstein, who’s been studying the mere-exposure effect ever since he wrote his dissertation on it in the 1980s.