The Psychology Of Beauty


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The Psychology Of Beauty

  1. 1. Psychology of beauty <ul><li>Kaja Stolarska Krzysztof Wiatr </li></ul>
  2. 2. 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. &quot;Beauty is truth, truth beauty,&quot; wrote John Keats, although Anatole France thought beauty &quot;more profound than truth itself.&quot;
  3. 3. 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”
  4. 4. Research <ul><li>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)‏ </li></ul>
  5. 5. What makes a face beautiful? <ul><li>Symmetry </li></ul><ul><li>Youthfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Averageness as fundamental and necessary to facial attractiveness </li></ul>
  6. 6. Image morphing
  7. 7. 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, &quot;average,&quot; 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.
  8. 8. Which face is the most beautiful? <ul><li>4 face composite 8 face composite 16 face composite 32 face composite </li></ul>
  9. 9. Which face is the most beautiful? <ul><li>4 face composite 8 face composite 16 face composite 32 face composite </li></ul>
  10. 10. Does an ideal face exist? <ul><li>proportions </li></ul><ul><li>large eyes </li></ul><ul><li>full lips </li></ul><ul><li>small nose </li></ul><ul><li>small chin </li></ul>
  11. 11. Beautiful or not? <ul><li>Large eyes; full lips; small nose; small chin </li></ul>
  12. 12. Proportions, symmetry <ul><li>Human perception of beauty is mainly a matter of proportions and symmetry </li></ul><ul><li>But, symmetry is not as important when we perceive visual art </li></ul><ul><li>In visual art symmetry is replaced by equilibrium </li></ul>
  13. 13. Equilibrium (Arnheim 1960)‏ <ul><li>A system is in equilibrium when the forces constituting it are arranged in such a way as to compensate each other, like the two weights pulling at the arms of a pair of scales. </li></ul><ul><li>Equilibrium is a feature of every fine work of art </li></ul>
  14. 14. Paul Cezanne, Madame Cezanne on yellow armchair
  15. 15. Grave's test <ul><li>Choose which composition is better </li></ul>
  16. 16. Grave's test <ul><li>On the first scheme a is well balanced because combination of square and rectangle is so strongly attached to each other that none of elements should change its place. </li></ul><ul><li>B is based on too little proportions </li></ul><ul><li>On the second scheme b is considered to be better. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Golden ratio
  18. 18. Fibonacci spiral
  19. 19. Myths about beauty <ul><li>Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? No </li></ul><ul><li>Raters agree about who is and is not attractive, both within and across ethnicity and culture. Beauty is not merely in the eye of the beholder. </li></ul><ul><li>There may be universal standards by which attractiveness is judged. </li></ul><ul><li>Do we really never judge a book by its cover? No </li></ul><ul><li>Attractive adults and children are judged more favorably than unattractive adults and children, even by those who know them. </li></ul><ul><li>Attractive adults and children are treated more positively than unattractive adults and children, even by those who know them. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Myths about beauty <ul><li>Is beauty only skin deep? No </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>What are some other interesting results of the meta-analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>Attractiveness is just as important in influencing our judgments and behavior toward others when we know them as when we do not. </li></ul><ul><li>Attractiveness is as important for males as for females in judging people we know. </li></ul><ul><li>Attractiveness is as important, if not more so, for children than for adults </li></ul>
  21. 21. Beauty as projection and wish fulfillment <ul><li>The perception of beauty is not only a mental process but also a deeply personal one </li></ul><ul><li>We tend to project our inner fancies on other people </li></ul><ul><li>The wish fulfillment theory is also equally true when we want to be like someone in terms of talents or certain qualities </li></ul>
  22. 22. Beauty as innocence and charm <ul><li>A person who has the inherent ability to attract individuals with the sheer force of personality and presence is considered highly attractive </li></ul>
  23. 23. Beauty as innocence and charm
  24. 29. Beauty as a product of culture and society <ul><li>The concept of beauty seems to change with time as society changes and the perception of beauty varies in different cultures. </li></ul>
  25. 30. Beauty as a product of culture and society - examples <ul><li>Dark skin is considered very attractive in Western societies </li></ul><ul><li>W hiter skin is considered as attractive in Eastern societies </li></ul><ul><li>Feet and hair of women are important features in Eastern cultures whereas in the West, the woman’s lips, and hips are considered important </li></ul>
  26. 31. How do we perceive that? <ul><li>The breasts of women are important indicators of beauty in all cultures </li></ul><ul><li>M en’s body and chin or jaw and certain masculine sharpness are also considered as attractive </li></ul>
  27. 32. According to the surveys <ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  28. 33. Research <ul><li>Men w ho read female so-called lad magazines such as Maxim have more body-image problems than others </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>