Attractiveness encompasses how others perceive and rate the desirability of a persons features. Physical attractiveness can include various spectrums, such as sexual attractiveness and physique. Physical attractiveness can have a significant effect on how people are judged, in terms of employment or social opportunities, friendship, sexual behavior, and marriage. This variance makes research studies regarding deriviation and influences towards physical attractiveness extremely important Physical attractiveness is quickly assessable and readily observable, and if no other relevant information is available physical attractiveness probably is the only influence governing our judgments.
Why is physical attractiveness so important What is considered physically attractive Social Psychology governs many fundamental theories which have been derived by psychologists to explain interpersonal attraction and the importance we place on attractiveness. Theories which derieve from cultural, social, evolutionary perspectives.
Many studies have found people tend to think more attractive individuals also possess other socially desirable personality traits. The belief that ???what is beautiful is good??? and physical attractive people are happier, outgoing, successful and kinder. Studies showed that more positive traits were attributed to the attractive individuals, as compared to the less attractive individuals.( ) This bias, also know as the halo effect, was obtained consistently over a wide range of rated traits and personal qualities. The halo effect occurs when physical beauty is generalized to other dimensions, such as social or intellectual skills. Many further studies have repeated these findings, showing this bias as well. ( )Previous research shows the halo effect also effects social competence, intellectual competence and personal adjustment.( ) Due to the halo effect attractive people are often judged as having a more desirable personality and more skills than someone of average appearance. This stereotype acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy. The self-fulfilling prophecy is where the perception of attractive people as more valuable members of society leads to their receiving preferential treatment, positive feedback and tangible benefit. The belief towards an attractive individual as possessing desirable personality traits actually influences our behavior towards that individual. Our actions may then lead him or her to behave in ways which are consistent with our beliefs.
Studies have found that attractiveness does correlate positively with some traits such as personal income, social skills and self-confidence. This correlation is attributed for the connection between social status and physical attractiveness. Individuals with high attractiveness receive higher admiration, attention and prestige from others. Being seen with an attractive individual will then create a higher anticipation for rewards, greater admiration from peers, and overall higher levels of status.
An evolutionary theory of mate choice predicts humans find honest signals of health, youth, and fertility most attractive in potential mates. The evolutionary perspective state humans have a predisposition to mate with healthier individuals. This predisposition helps create a desire to conceive healthy offspring who will then pass on their genes to future generations. A higher reproduction potential is marketed by better physical and hormonal health. One extrinsic physical health feature is symmetry. Symmetry is equated with a strong immune system. Studies have proven symmetry to be inherently attractive to the human eye. Preferences for symmetry is a highly evolved trait which is seen in many creatures with no cultural influences. The only plausible explanation is an attraction to a stronger immune system which symmetry portrays. Clear complexion is a factor attributive to good health as well as youth. Clear completion has been proven to be a marker for attractiveness cross-culturally. Studies have also shown the bodys proportions play an important role in perceptions of beauty . In general, men have a preference for women with low waist-to-hip ratios. A low waist to hip ratio is characterized by having more adipose deposited on the hips and buttocks than on the waist. Waist-to-hip ration has been shown to be a reliable morphological indicator of the levels of sex hormones, and also the risk of major diseases, reproductive potential, and premature mortality.
Attractiveness levels may be influenced between sexes due to adaptive problems of long term mating versus short term mating. A study of mating found both women and men are more selective when choosing a partner for long term relationship. Putting attractiveness and possession of resources at the top for selection of a long term mate.These evolutionary theories are supported by research showing that standards of attractiveness are similar across cultures. Entailing these forms of attractiveness are not culturally learned.
People are attracted to esthetically pleasing stimuli. We prefer what is beautiful. Whether this attraction comes from culture, evolution goals, or a little of both the attraction is accruing. A study in the Journal of Psychological Science( ) appeared to show that what we think is attractive, or beautiful, is whatever requires the least amount of effort. Piotr Winkielman of the University of California at San Diego didn??™t even use people in their attractiveness test. They showed test subjects patterns of dots. The sets the subjects liked the most were the ones which closely resembled a prototype set they had been conditioned to recognize. We come to anticipate how things are supposed to look by seeing prototypes. We start to show a fluency towards a stimuli. When we encounter something or someone that resembles the prototype, our brains don??™t have to work as hard to recognize and process any new stimuli. This study shows and interesting link to the mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effects states repeated exposure to the same novel stimulus is sufficient to produce a positive attitude towards it. Humans like familiarity. Familiarity lead to liking, not contempt. Research agrees mere exposure and familiarity leads to attraction. This correlation can also be thought of as we expose ourselves to what we find more attractive. Part of attraction is culturally based. It is hard to say if what is attractive was exposed more first or what was exposed more first became what is attractive. Considering history changes of attractiveness the hypothesis of what is attractive is exposed more first seems more plausible. This exposure to attraction creates what Winkielman described as prototypes all around us. Prototypes, which we as a culture, produce a positive attitude towards and then find attractive. Humans are longing for familiarity. We are constantly striving to resemble these prototypes our brain processes so well. Attractiveness is so important in our lives because we are taught young and everyday reminded to conform and to fit into these prototypes. Not just attractiveness prototypes, but all prototypes in our lives. This acceptance to cultural attractive prototypes explains our continued acceptance to the halo effect and the self fulfilling prophecy, despite our cultures awareness.
Research shows beauty matters; it pervades society and has an affect on how we choose almost anyone we communicate with. Beauty may derives in our genetic make-up or entirely our culturally perspective. Regardless of the origin, impact of social learning and structure is far to strong to break the importance of attractiveness in our society.
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