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Beauty Immense Influence on our perception

Beauty Immense Influence on our perception

Indeed being unattractive these days kinda suck. Nature just picked some random people and blessed them with ugliness “me and you included”, the thing is we can do nothing about it but to accept it “πŸ˜’”.

Being pretty is simply a cheat code to life.

And since you’re ugly I presume, In this article you’ll answer the question on why beauty matters. Let’s dive more into the beauty realm together, be patient!

Remember that nobody chose their appearence, we can’t help how we’re born!

Cognitive bias : the halo effect

beauty
image source

Humans are hardwired by evolution to have cognitive biases. Cognitive bias is an error in thinking that deviates from the norm and rationality of judgment, which consequently leads to false decisions, illogical interpretation and irrationality. It’s often described as a mind trick to simplify the thinking process by linking some signals and patterns to have quick shortcut results. An example of cognitive bias is when we try to constantly validate our opinions by paying attention only to the news and stories that confirms them!

The halo effect is a cognitive bias, where simply a certain trait or quality in someone leads us to think and link other traits to them. For example a sociable individual will be evaluated as someone smart and clever without any prior knowledge of his capacities (except for his sociable skills, which is an irrational linkage).

Now, the halo effect is attached more to beauty and physical appearance more than the other traits. The definition of it sometimes states that attractive people are perceived to have other positive characteristics.

A study conducted in 1920 by the psychologist Edward Thorndike in a paper titled “The Constant Error in Psychological Ratings.” as an experiment Thorndike was aiming to see how a single quality can affect other traits, by asking military officers to assess their subordinates in qualities such as leadership, physical appearance, loyalty and so on.

Thorndike indeed found that a high ranked quality assessed on an individual, led to high rankings in other characteristics. Also, in the other hand, a low ranked quality led to low rankings in other traits. For example, a tall and attractive subordinate was seen as being very intelligent.

So in general, good looking people tend to get rated positively on other characteristics based only on their attractiveness, like being intelligent, funny and honest.

We’re really blinded by attractiveness, and that’s where the name halo effect came from. In religious art, the saint is always portrayed with a circular light around his head as a mean of goodness, that makes the viewer form a favorable perception on the person, and so does the effect of attractiveness.

Impression forming

Solomon Asch another psychologist who studied impression formation. He put a study to showcase that people form opinions and thoughts based only on the first impression, where positive first impressions leads to positive views about other qualities, and vice versa.

In the experiment, people were given the same set of characteristics that one person has to evaluate him, but they separated them to two groups, group A was told that the person is “warm” and group B “cold”.

(intelligent-skillful-industrious-warm/cold-determined-practical-cautious) 

Only by listening to these two character variants, the two groups formed different impressions as the A group had an overall good positive impression about the person, where the other group formed bad negative impression about him.

You can check the complete study here: impression formation

Love from first sight, who hasn’t heard about it? Well, it’s simply the reflection of the first impression of that person. When a certain trait attracts us, we will form an assumption that they have many other good characteristics based only on the observed trait. For example, you noticed a nice smiling face, that will have a snowball effect on your logic and conclude that the person has many other good characteristics such as being funny, intelligent and good hearted.

All of us share the beauty bias!

Our brains tend to connect the dots and draw patterns to facilitate thinking, in the process many false irrational conclusions will be made. We all are attracted to attractiveness and beauty. Uncontrollably we start to do unjustified acts for the person who is considered attractive, like unneeded favors in education, work and social life. So no need to worry, everyone falls for the halo effect. Bias is deeply integrated in us, and knowing its effects is already a huge step towards rational thinking.

So by now, you know how the halo effect, attractiveness and first impression affects our perception. Before falling for it just remember to assess things objectively and not subjectively, because sometimes things can be really unfair for unattractive/normal people at the expense of attractive people bias.

Why we’re drawn to beauty

As a research showed, most of us look for moderate beauty as a necessity, where extreme beauty is a luxury.

Physical attractiveness is an important metric when choosing a partner, if not the most important one. Other traits such as intelligence, humor, being responsible, honest, caring and more, tend to be the most common answers when asking people about what are they attracted to. So, people often say that they’re looking for these type of characters, but when they meet physical attractiveness everything comes crumbling.

Enter evolution

So what causes the beauty bias?

Simply our brains. The mind appreciates beauty and feels relaxed in the presence of it.

In a study conducted on how the brain perceive beauty, it showed that the brain rewards us when looking at appealing stuff.

It’s basically a natural thing, an integrated feature in us.

It all comes to survival of the fittest. A law that validates its significance wherever you go in nature. Seeing a pretty person can indicate a lot of things to our minds, leading us to draw some patterns that conclude to confidence, responsibility, and safety, along side with health, ability to reproduce and have excellent offspring genes.

Plotinus, a Greek philosopher, once said: β€œEveryone says that visible beauty arises from the symmetry of the parts, one in relation to the other, and each in relation to the whole; therefore the beauty of all beings is their symmetry and their measure ”.

Face symmetry now days is a substantial formula for attractiveness. In a recent study, children were given images of symmetrical and unsymmetrical faces, they were eventually drawn more to symmetrical faces.

Evolution studies has made it clear that attraction features are a common standard and shared among all species and animals.

The environment and how we’re raised plays a significant role on the perception of beauty, as what some people consider appealing might not be the same case to others, but generally, there is an agreement on the fundamentals of beauty.

Beauty has many facets. Research shows there are many biological, psychological, cultural and social aspects that influence how beauty and attractiveness are perceived. Researchers now believe that beauty preferences are partly an effect of a rudimentary cognitive process that appears quite early in life, with humans having a seemingly automatic ability to categorize a person as beautiful or not. Scientific literature supports such physical features as universal criteria for human attractiveness.

Source: sciencedaily what constitutes beauty and how is it perceived

Despite the fact that we’re somehow charmed, controlled and manipulated by beauty, the book thinking fast and slow shows us the difference between intuitive thinking and rational thinking. Where the author described that the brain has two systems:

System 1: for quick reasoning that is susceptible for biases and cognitive errors such as the halo effect.

System 2: for deep thinking and processing things, it’s the responsible part for self-control.

So, in knowing the differences you’ll get an idea on how the mind works on judgement, decision, impression, biases and more. I have made an article about Thinking Fast, and Slow Summary that you can go and check. It’s highly important.

Why beauty matters now days then ever

pretty privilege
image source

When it comes to making friends or dating, the only character you can judge the other person by is appearance, because you don’t get to know their true personality immediately.

This modern internet age has made dating very accessible. The ease of online dating made things also lazy and effortless, you can just swipe left or right and pick whatever you want.

Picking your next partner through hundreds of other potential partners will give you an instant gratification feeling combined with a decision overload due to the high competition profiles. You can just chose different woman with different body shapes, faces, and whatever you’re pleased to enjoy.

So why does it matter now then ever? It’s because of online dating and social media. We created a system that only favors beauty and appearance, so eventually you’ll favor only beauty and appearance “you are what you consume”.

In Tiktok you’re bombarded with extremely gorgeous people, why? Because it’s what people consume. There is no particular or specific creative content made by them, they could be doing some weird stuff and still people will enjoy watching them. It’s both the halo effect and the social media effect mixed. Social media algorithms are made to make you addictive, they’re all well designed to capture your attention. Another aspect of this ever growing fast modern world, is that it will leave you with the urge of FOMO (fear of missing out), which is basically the feeling of being extinct; if you don’t cope with what’s happening “trends”.

Wherever you surf the internet, you’ll find a sexy woman/man with perfect features waiting for you. Automatically, you’ll find yourself comparing these fine arts looking individuals to yourself, partner, and surroundings without even you knowing. Unconsciously, this will become the new beauty standard for you and the society, and who doesn’t meet the requirements will be considered as unattractive.

What is real?

Also, the age of hot models, pornography, OnlyFans, and adult content have a huge impact on our view on attractiveness and beauty, as it shaped the new culture of hookups and casual sex which are based on short term satisfaction that attractiveness plays a huge role in.

In other words, with all of this influence you’ll even see attractive people as unattractive because instead, you’re used to perfectly attractive. It’s a whole mess when fiction starts to become reality.

In the other hand, having a stock of perfect people to date will eventually lead to burnout and choice fatigue or confusion, your mind will be fed with exaggerated unreal images, that he will consider as real-life. Social media images are far from being real. Filters, photoshop and photo editing tools are the new go to trend, everyone and including you use them.

Unattractive people are in a trouble! But wait, now unattractive people also have a solution, use filters and extremely excessive makeup, simple.

If you look deeper, you’ll find out that social media has created a loop of involuntary actions.

  • You see someone using filter, then the majority use them, then you use them.
  • You see people praising unreal beauty standards, unwillingly you start do the same thing.

Pretty privilege: examples of the unfair advantages attractive people have

Pretty privilege is rooted in fundamental biology. As sexual creatures, we’re trained to seek out attractive people because, in propagating our species, they offer something positive to the gene pool” Reyes (2015).

What pretty privilege means is that people with better looks are deemed to be more valuable than the normal individual. There is a lot of benifits to pretty privilege such as:

  • Attractive people have higher chances in employment:

The bias is clear, when you see job recruitment you’ll find out that attractive people tend to be hired more. Acquiring good looking individuals is a plus to the image of the company.

You can find out more about the beauty bias in emoleyment here: Forbes on beauty bias.

For more about pretty privilege advantages check the video below!

The dilemma of being attractive

Pretty privilege can’t always work. Basically, people can judge you also negatively based on a single trait, if you’re attractive you might be considered as a manipulative individual.

There are always two sides to a coin:

  • Nobody will approach you because they think they’re less worthy, or you want some rich, attractive person.
  • Being very attractive can intimidate many people around you, so they’ll prefer not to hang out with you.
  • People will presume many things about super attractive people like being shallow, manipulative, and not intelligent.
  • Being seen as merely a sex object, no one will develop serious relations due to the fact of instant gratification.
  • Presume that you’re a whore easily because of being super hot.
  • Get followed around, or bothered a lot.

Pygmalion effect and education:

We change to a better performer when other’s expectations towards us are high. Positive expectations lead us consciously and unconsciously to do better in a certain area. β€œWhen we expect certain behaviors of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behavior more likely to occur.” (Rosenthal and Babad, 1985).

We have all seen it sometime in our school days where attractive students were being favored and treated well among average looking students. Teachers might fall for the halo effect/pygmalion effect by having high expectations and more attention to attractive students. Even when it comes to punishments, they’re less to be punished as hard as the others.

In a study made in 1968 by Rosenthal and Jacobson, they found that teachers generally had expectations for students not based on records but physical appearance. In the study, teachers were provided objective information about students academic potential, but with photos associated of attractive/unattractive boy or girl. The result showed that teachers gave attractive students high expectations regarding academic future.

Another study showcased that attractiveness could impact grading. Attractive students performed low on an online course compared to a traditional classroom course in a grading university course.

When high expectations are given to attract students, that for sue will impact their abilities and improve their performance. Clearly, being an attractive student gives an unfair boost in exams, grading, and overall teacher’s attention, treatment, and expectations.

Reverse engineering the halo effect, how to look pretty?

What makes a woman attractive

Physical attractiveness:

  • Ovulation: when a woman is fertile there is a noticeable behavior change. That could be sensed as attractive by the other gender.
  • Facial symmetry and mature appearance. “Beautiful”, cute, sexy, baby and many face shapes are considered attractive.
  • Small waist-hip ratio, where narrow waist and a bigger hip are favored.
  • Of course, breasts. Some like them large and some small.
  • Movement patterns, basically the way she moves.
  • Good skin, hands and feet.
  • Feminine voice.
  • Body mass.
  • Long legs.
  • Feet size.
  • Booty.
  • Hair.
  • Eyes.

Trait attractiveness:

  • Intelligence.
  • Confidence.
  • Femininity.
  • Humor.
  • Stylish.
  • Artsy.

What makes a man attractive

Physical attractiveness:

  • Facial features like being manly, cute and a feminine look sometimes is appreciated.
  • Physically active, having them abs.
  • Having a beard.
  • Deep voice.
  • Good hair.
  • Being Tall.

Trait attractiveness:

  • Humor is a shared trait between the genders, as well as, intelligence, and confidence.
  • Provide safety and comfort when it comes to parenting features, or being mature.
  • Sincerity and integrity.
  • Being a gentlemen.
  • Adventure driven.
  • Social status.
  • Dominance.
  • Good smell.

Disclaimer: there are hundreds of other unmentioned features, characteristics and traits.

Complete reading here:

https://www.yourgirlknows.com/how-to-look-pretty/

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