What is beauty? One may as well dissect a soap bubble. We know it when we see it—or so we think. Philosophers frame it as a moral equation. What is beautiful is good, said Plato. Poets reach for the lofty. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," wrote John Keats, although Anatole France thought beauty "more profound than truth itself."
Psychology understaning of beauty We know it when we see it—or so we think. Beauty is something intuitive and common for people. Research show that even 6 month old babies “understand and see beauty”
Infants ranging from two to six months of age prefer to look longer at faces rated as attractive by adults than at faces rated as unattractive by adults. We've also found that 12-month-olds prefer to approach and play with a stranger with an attractive face compared with a stranger with an unattractive face. (Langlois, 1990)
Image morphing College students rated the male and female composite faces as significantly higher in attractiveness than the individual faces used to create them, if the composites had at least 16 different faces in them. Thus, averaged faces are attractive. Note that when we use the word, "average," we mean the arithmetical mean, and not an average-looking person. If, for example, you take a female composite (averaged) face made of 32 different faces and overlay it on the face of an extremely attractive female model, the two images line up almost perfectly indicating that the model's facial configuration is very similar to the composites' facial configuration.
Beauty may be more than skin-deep: Although both attractive and unattractive people exhibit positive behaviors and traits, attractive people exhibit more positive behaviors and traits than unattractive individuals
What are some other interesting results of the meta-analysis?
Attractiveness is just as important in influencing our judgments and behavior toward others when we know them as when we do not.
Attractiveness is as important for males as for females in judging people we know.
Attractiveness is as important, if not more so, for children than for adults
W omen tend to prefer dominant looking men during the first follicular stage in their reproductive cycle but prefer men with softer more feminine features when they are in their menstrual and ovulation stages
Men w ho read female so-called lad magazines such as Maxim have more body-image problems than others
While it is fairly well-known that women feel worse about their bodies after viewing other females in Cosmopolitan or Glamour , men apparently have the same feelings after perusing the lingerie-clad women spread across the pages of e.g. Maxim