The Psychology of Beauty

psychology of beauty

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The Psychology of Beauty

Beauty Sells

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.

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
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
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

David Fincher (Director)
Kevin Spacey (Actor)
and House of Cards (Britain)

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