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The Psychology Behind What (And Who) We Find Attractive

The Psychology Behind What (And Who) We Find Attractive

Eyes are the window to the soul. We eat with our eyes first.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” gushed Keats.

But how do we decide what’s beautiful? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” explains yet another age-old saying.

We know that many perceptions of what’s beautiful are socially embedded–partly the result of the culture in which we’re raised. But it’s not all subjective; there have been scientific studies that conclude that while me may not all be attracted to the same type of beauty, there are some biological forces at work.

“Is it certain colors, specific shapes, symmetry, how things are organized or arranged that we find attractive and appealing?” asks Iconic Displays. “Turns out, it’s all of the above, and the human eye is consistently drawn to the same types of traits, characteristics and aesthetic values.”

The same thing goes for what we find ugly or off-putting. In the wild, things that are dangerous often give off a smell, an ooze, or look a certain way. Our reaction to these things is the result of evolution, which taught us, if it stinks, oozes, or looks scary, it’s probably a good idea to stay away.

Scroll through the infographic below to learn more about how colors, shapes, and symmetry help us decide what’s attractive and what’s not. Then let us know if you agree with these scientific findings by leaving a comment about what you find most attractive.


Infographic by Iconic Displays

Read more: Beauty, Crafts & Design, Life, , , , , , ,

Image via Thinkstock

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.


+ add your own
11:12PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

You have posted the blogs are really fantastic and informative.carlo carandang

9:12AM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

love it! thanks

11:19PM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

Insightful. Thanks.

11:21AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

interesting, thanks..

5:15PM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

Thank you Beth, for Sharing this!

6:19AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013


4:02AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

Very interesting!

12:59AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

Thanks for sharing

12:06PM PDT on Aug 14, 2013

Very interesting!

3:50PM PDT on Aug 11, 2013


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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