All About Beauty

Okay, so gorgeous people get preferential treatment. It's a not-too-pretty fact of life long attributed to the halo effect. Now there's evidence that beauty and intelligence (and other positive characteristics) go hand in hand. Evolutionary psychologists have opened a tantalizing line of inquiry onto age-old questions about beauty, and not a moment too soon. Clinical psychologists observe that men and women alike appear more concerned than ever with attractiveness and perceived physical imperfections.

Recent posts on Beauty

When Are Puppies at Their Cutest?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 26, 2016 in Animals and Us
Most dogs on Earth die before they are three months old. New research shows how being cute can save a puppy from an early death.

Art Thinking or The Importance of Inventing Point B

By Tim Leberecht on July 25, 2016 in The Romance of Work
Business is too important to be left to business people. What if companies thought and acted more like artists?

Life Is Too Short to Wear Bad Lipstick

By Kevin Bennett on July 15, 2016 in Modern Minds
Economy got you down? Try some new lipstick - it's good for two reasons.

Age Is Meaningless if You're Seeking Meaning in Life

Keeping count of the years is as purposeful a pastime as trying to hold back the ocean tide. What’s the point of attempting to do something that logic defies and serves no real pur

Obey the Flower: Lessons Learned From Drawing a Rose

How a practice of drawing roses helped me appreciate the transformative power of beauty.

No More Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikinis

Why one group of teens won't be wearing any teenie weenie bikinis this year

The 3 Essential Elements of Attraction

Different traits and features are attractive for different types of relationships. Find out how you are attractive—and to whom.

Do We Really Think Long-Haired Women Are More Attractive?

By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on June 20, 2016 in Face Value
You've probably heard that straight men prefer long hair on women. But studies on the matter show that it doesn't matter nearly as much as you think.

Say Yikes to the Dress

Beauty, for better or for worse, has always mattered in our culture and is so much more in the limelight at a wedding.

Is Hillary Clinton Tall Enough to Win?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 16, 2016 in The Human Beast
Throughout history, the taller candidate has had an advantage in presidential elections. Why is that? Does the advantage of taller stature make it more difficult for women to win?

Honey, I Squished the Kids’ Heads!

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on June 13, 2016 in How We Do It
Around the world, people have tightly bound their babies’ heads to produce distinctive shapes. Extreme cases in South America have spawned wild stories of intervention by aliens.

The Lure of Beauty

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on June 12, 2016 in Critical Feeling
That beauty attracts is well known – from people to mathematical proofs. Do we always have to circumvent the lure of beauty?

Why Would Anybody Engage in Polyamory?

Does polyamory seem confusing and weird? Well, you'll be surprised at what the research shows about it!

5 Reasons You Think Your Partner Is Hotter Than They Are

By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on June 09, 2016 in Face Value
Positive illusions mean your sweetie isn't actually as stunning as you think—but there are good reasons why your brain is deceiving you.

What Happens When You Date 'Out of Your League'

Want to be in a relationship that lasts? You may want to consider a partner close to your own level of attractiveness. Here's why.

Why Husbands Cheat

Lately, in cases of male infidelity that I have seen in my office, the reason these husbands cheated was not primarily sexual dissatisfaction.

Smoking Hot

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on June 05, 2016 in Pop Psych
How does recreational drug use affect your attractiveness in the dating world?

Bathrooms: The Decades-Long Rise of America's Obsession

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 03, 2016 in Living Single
Long before the moral panic about transgender issues, bathrooms occupied an out-sized place in American homes and lives.

Why You Don’t Think You’re Beautiful

The surprising research about why our minds don't let us think that we're beautiful, regardless of how we look!

Smile, Baby! The Links Between Happiness, Age, and Beauty

By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on June 02, 2016 in Face Value
"But you don't LOOK that old!" A new study indicates that when we tell someone they don't look their age, we may be telling them they just look too happy to be old.

Modern Understandings of 2000 Year-Old Words of Wisdom

Wisdom from the ancients is as applicable today as it was thousands of years ago.

A Snarky Size Activist and 3 Benefits of My Stupid Fitbit

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on May 25, 2016 in Full Living
I would hate my stupid step tracker even more if it wasn't working to help me increase my movement.

Healthy Is Sexy

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 23, 2016 in Talking Apes
Your face reveals how healthy you are—and people use this information to judge how attractive you are.

Why Do Men Find Women’s Legs So Alluring?

Researchers have spent far less time studying men’s attraction to women’s legs than the typical man devotes to gazing at them . . . and maybe finding himself spellbound by them.
Photo by Kristin Meekhof

An Open Letter To All Graduates

An open letter to all graduates: create something that makes the world more luminous, curious and golden

Does Talking to Attractive Women Make Men Dumber?

If women value intelligent mates, why do men become less intelligent when talking to beautiful women?

A 500-Year-Old Philosopher's Advice on Life

"All I know is that I know nothing, and I am not even sure about that," wrote Michel de Montaigne more than 500 years ago. What applied then continues to apply today.

Awe and Awareness in Motherhood: An Interview

A hesitant adventurer's search for wonder in the natural world and how she keeps the phenomenal alive in her everyday life.

Ejecting the Beauty Myth

Through the media's portrayal of beauty, we have accepted the idea that older women are “expired products," but this myth is not only poisonous, it's flat out wrong.

8 Reasons to Exercise That Have Nothing to Do With Swimsuits

Exercise causes exterior changes to our bodies, but there are plenty of other reasons to get moving.