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Beauty and Attention


Explanations > Perception > Attention > Beauty

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?



When we see something beautiful, it grabs our attention.

This includes:

  • Beautiful people
  • Beautiful landscapes
  • Beautiful houses
  • Beautiful objects

Beauty can also be perceived through other senses, such as melodic music, a smooth surface or a delicious taste.


A female salesperson dresses attractively to get the attention of her customers.

A number of men are together at a party. They compete for attention of women by boasting of their achievements.

An advert uses and attractive setting to display the product.


Human beauty is based largely in evolutionary factors. Hence men find women attractive who seem healthy and fertile. Indicators include clear and firm skin, large breasts and wide hips. Women find powerful men attractive as they could protect and feed the family. Young people tend to have these attributes and also have the energy and longevity needed to sustain families.

Other beauty factors can be cultural, for example in lands where food is scarce, being overweight may be considered beautiful. Scarcity can also make something more desirable.

We find natural scenes beautiful. Research has shown that we prefer scenes with rivers and valleys and mountains in the background attractive, probably because these all indicate fertile land where game may be hunted and crops grown.

We like simplicity as it is easy to understand and threats can clearly be seen. This includes the use of basic shape, smooth curves and symmetry.

So what?

If you have physical attributes that others may see as attractive, then emphasize them for good effect. If, like most of us, you do not have a stand-out appearance then there is much you can do to change how others see you, including how you project yourself with confidence.

If you are a man, then you may want to build your muscle mass, but not so much that you appear threatening. Whatever your gender, eating well and exercising will help. Also avoid things that damage appearance, such as tobacco and too much sunlight.

Use the principles of beauty, such as symmetry and structure, in other things you create, from articles to photographs to physical creations.

See also

Beauty and Evolution


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