Beauty – The Psychological Definition

Beauty is the aesthetic value that a person assigns to something. The word ‘beauty’ can mean the most simple of things in a highly technical culture. Beauty is often associated with the physical form rather than its meaning in religious terms. It is also frequently used in advertisements as ‘endearing beauty’. The word beauty itself is vague and the ideas and associations it brings to mind depend upon the audience and the speaker.

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According to the British Psychological Association:’Beauty is often thought to be some abstract standard or unattainable standard. Beauty is generally seen as an objective, universal quality, which may have different values for different individuals. Beauty is seen to have both individual and interpersonal relevance for a wide range of individuals…’ (van Gogh, Art, vol. I, pp. 45-6). In fact, according to recent research, attractiveness is associated with several biological characteristics and brain function, including the extent of neuron specialization, estrogen levels, brain volume and the extent of connectivity between brain regions.

Beauty has important consequences in human reproduction and evolution. As we all know, human beauty is one of the most fundamental needs of humans, which they cannot survive without. Humans are attracted to members of their own species that appear to be physically attractive. It is a basic requirement for survival that members of every group be attractive to others, so there is an evolutionary basis for the popularity of the physical appearance of a person, whether he is young or old, strong or weak, athletic or not, rich or poor, and so on.

Beauty is considered to be a basic and primitive need for human beings. According to ethology, beauty is defined as the sum total of the whole nature, including the physical, emotional, and mental elements of a person and his features. Beauty has been associated with emotional maturity, social competence, reproductive fitness, and intelligence. Beauty is also a decisive factor that affects an individual’s approach to certain situations and their choices, and their general acceptance of his environment and other people.

Neuroanatomical and neurofunctional studies indicate that there are several components that contribute to a person’s judgment of beauty. Neuroanatomical processes relate to the association of specific brain regions to the perception of facial attractiveness, including the orbitofrontal cortex, periaqueductal gray matter, and the cerebellum. Other areas involved are the anterior parietal cortex and amygdala, and cortices in the brain stem and the midline temporal regions. Based on these findings, experts propose that there are three main categories of aesthetic judgments that reflect different aspects of beauty, including bodily attractiveness, facial attractiveness, and emotional beauty.

Emotionally healthy people tend to have emotionally intelligent attitudes and higher perceived competence. Thus, it may be expected that people who are attractive tend to have higher perceived competence and higher IQs. The link between beauty and intelligence has been established by many researchers over the years. For example, Coelho et al. found that facial features are the primary factor that affects an individual’s intellectual level and positive associations with other human faces, and that emotional beauty is related to better mental health.