This is article is based on the chapter on sex and relationships in Yale psychologist Paul Bloom’s new book, How Pleasure Works: Why We Like What We Like. In that section, the question he poses is: Why do we like whom we like? Based on this question, there’s good news and bad news. Being human we all like beauty this is the bad news. It seems like we are born with these preferences.
Everyone likes to look at healthy persons: To stay healthy, just do things like your fruits and veggies, working out, and getting enough sleep, you can do a lot for yourself in terms of looking hot. A few other things that might help is visiting a dermatologist, dentist (skin whitening), using a shower filter to take the toxins out of your water and get better-looking hair. A healthy-looking person is likely to produce a healthy kid.
Familiar people are liked the most: The researchers asked a team of women to attend different classes at the University of Pittsburgh. The women never spoke in the classes, and the number of lectures they attended varied; some went to 5, others to 10, others to 15, and so on. Some went to none. Once it’s done, the real students were asked to rate the attractiveness of the women. Most attractive was who attended 15 classes. Least attractive is women didn’t go to any classes. As Bloom points out, this is just one study — but it underscores a bunch of other studies that have found proof of the “mere exposure” effect.
We are fond of smiling people: According to bloom cites a study that found smiling is an important factor in whether or not we’ll find a face attractive. And in an interview I did a little while back with the author of a book about the science of sex, she told me that a woman’s beauty doesn’t have that much to do with whether or not a man will approach her at a bar. Rather, the important thing is how much a woman seems to be flirting — smiling, making eye contact, and flipping her hair.
Kindness: In the largest study ever of human mate preferences, looking at people in 37 cultures, the most important factor for both men and women is a kindness.” That’s sweet, isn’t it? (So I guess I was wrong when I worried that nice girls finish last.)