The Psychology of Beauty

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The Psychology of Beauty

Beauty Sells

Personally:
A above average looking person makes $230,000 more in lifetime earnings than a person of below-average looks.
Or $5100 more per year for a 45 year career.

For your Brand:
What do Apple, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW have in common?
They’re 3 out of the top 11 Interbrand Most Valuable Brands.

Politically:
Low information voters can choose who will win elections by looks 90% of the time
–(From studies of national urban development board candidates)

The Halo Effect occurs when positive feelings about one aspect of a person/brand/situation cause other ambiguous portions to be viewed positively.

How Does It Work?

Your Senses
Surroundings
And Social Values
Line up

It’s largely thought of as a defining trait of humanity.

Why did we evolve to be beauty-receptive?

It affects us differently:

Are you a man?

Viewing attractive partners lights up the same part of the brain affected by opioids.[5]
Beautiful images activate brain regions responsible for locating objects in absolute terms–
(like x and y coordinates on a grid)

Are you a woman?

Beautiful images activate brain regions responsible for locating objects in absolute terms–
AND category-processing centers for relative spatial judgments, like over, under, beside.

The Explanation:
In our evolutionary past, the reward of a beautiful moment were attached to food.
Men = hunters
Women = gatherers

The Japanese prefer asymmetry
While the west likes symmetry

Everywhere seems to prefer symmetrical faces.

Other factors include:
Ease of processing/ familiarity
Non-physical traits
Amount of sleep

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

With others rating your attractiveness 20% higher than you do yourself.

The Difference: You look in the mirror at your external appearance.
They see you in a situation. Where actions, attitudes, and looks blend.

But don’t try to be beautiful in a way that isn’t you.

40% of children who participated regularly in beauty pageants have psychological and self-image issues.
And the other 60% were unhappy during the pageant itself.

Our Best Brands Harness Beauty
In marketing
Design
Branding
And value-making moments

So what’s the beauty calculus?

Types of Beauty:

Beauty in Innovation:
The bar for beauty online has come a long way.

Visual changes trigger gut reactions in users.
Allowing actionable insights into how users interact with beauty.

Beauty in a Lasting Relationship:

The price consumers expect to pay for otherwise identical luxury vehicles can vary as much as $4,000.
That’s $4,000 just for a brand.
Nothing tangible, just a look, a feel, and an experience.

Mercedes’ beautiful brand has lasted over a century.
By building CLASSICS

Beauty in Proportions:

The eye naturally finds harmony in certain proportions.
The fibonacci sequence is found throughout nature.
And when plotted produces a logarithmic spiral

The fibonacci sequence starts with 0 and 1 and proceeds by adding together the last two numbers:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…

A relationship seen in many Apple design elements:
The Logo
The iCloud logo
iPhone 4
(even the headphone jack, volume buttons)

Beauty in Emotion:

Big data enabled Netflix to find the sweet spot

Where:
David Fincher (Director)
Kevin Spacey (Actor)
and House of Cards (Britain)
Intersect.

House of Cards is the most streamed piece of content in the US
And 40 other countries.

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