What makes people attractive?


You can be nice and say that you are only interested in an individual if they have a good personality or you have a special connection but lets be real. You are looking for someone who is generally attractive physically. When we try to grasp our brains around that image of attractiveness, qualities run through our heads of what we prefer.  There is a special sort of bracket of attractiveness that our brains all look for. We might say that we prefer blondes over brunettes, or blue eyes over brown eyes. But in reality people tend to focus on what they prefer in their partner and lose sight of qualities that actually decide attractiveness. In reality, there is a more scientific reason to why we find people attractive rather than what we prefer or observe as individuals. The concept of of attractiveness can be broken up between of course physical features but also things that aren’t physical, for example, personality.  The science behind attractiveness is extremely unique and can be proved with factual information that I am about to supply.

Traits that prove to make more people attractive through data sets.

Traits that prove to make more people attractive through data sets.

Definition of attractiveness:

According to dictionary.com, the concept of attractiveness can be described as something or someone that provides a sort of pleasure especially in terms of physical attributes. Attractiveness as a definition and as a concept described by individuals are very far off. Both the definition and what the human brain defines as attractive focus on physical appearance.

Creepy picture that breaks down traits that the brain deems attractive

Creepy picture that breaks down traits that the brain deems attractive

The science of attractiveness and relation to class: 

The first thing we do when we meet a person we have never met nor seen before, without even sometimes noticing, is judging that individual on their attractiveness. It is just and instinct of the human brain. The brain processes the persons physical traits such as facial symmetry, voice, height, posture, and many other characteristics to immediately determine the level of attractiveness.

This video, posted by Brain Signal and used on psychologytoday.com, explains the science of attractiveness as a whole. It breaks down the reasons why and how people see others as attractive. The process starts as early as when a human is in the womb, where a chemical is released at different stages during pregnancy. The time at which the chemical is released determines traits and levels of attractiveness that the child will obtain as they grow and mature. The video featured on psychologytoday.com explains the science behind the traits that make people attractive.  It questions the process of which traits are developed to make someone attractive, which as just explained, starts as early as in the womb.

In class we learned in depth, what science means. We observed that science can be described as the want or desire to explain the world like it is through, “testing a hypothesis about what causes certain things.” (A. Read, What is Science?, V. 3.0) Andrew explained that data that is gathered is what is used to support the hypothesis. Even though it might seem obvious, there needs to be enough data to do so and thoroughly give support. In the case of understanding what traits make people attractive, there are studies that do just that.

When looking at the science behind what traits people find appealing, the world of business is one environment that very clearly supports the concept In business it is often thought that people who are in theory, more attractive, generate more sales and or revenue. The Association for Consumer Research defends this hypothesis by gathering data from past studies and observations.  Anne M. Brumbaugh of Duke University who is the coordinator of this study starts by developing the hypothesis as questioning whether there are other factors aside from physically attractive traits that can effect a buyer when presented with an attractive seller. The Null hypothesis of this study would be that there is no relation between people who have traits that the brain deems attractive selling more than people who are not viewed as attractive. The Alternate hypothesis is that the people with traits the brain processes as attractive indeed tend to produce more revenue than those who do not. The conclusion settles on the fact that sellers who are observed with attractive features are more apt to sell and generate more revenue. For examples, the study observes that people with traits such as facial symmetry, blue eyes, higher forward, tall and good stature, and blond hair, which are scientifically proven attractive traits, in fact sell more. This data is just one set that supports the scientific skepticism behind traits that make people attractive.

Universal example of an a person who holds attractive traits. Some being facial symmetry, high forehead, moderate facial hair (for men)

Universal example of an a person who holds attractive traits. Some being facial symmetry, high forehead, moderate facial hair (for men)


Attractiveness as a science is a concept that when explained correctly and supported with data can be understood and accepted. Some people ignore the fact that there are traits that our brains immediately detect when meeting individuals and choose to believe that other factors are responsible for deeming people attractive. But with data and studies, certain physical traits can be understood as attractive features. Many studies have been conducted to support this theory, some more examples being the scienceofpeople.com article and the telegraph.co.uk post on the universal viewpoint and theories behind attractiveness which list traits such as finger length, height, physical stature, posture, hair color, and many other features. As learned from this post using various studies and examples, the term attractiveness can be summed up as a compilation of traits that the brain categorizes as physically appealing due to chemicals and other factors.

Here is one last example of a person with universally viewed attractive qualities.kate-upton




















One thought on “What makes people attractive?

  1. David Ross

    This was a really interesting article! I don’t think I have ever looked into why I actually find certain people attractive and others not. It is funny how as humans we prefer certain features over others when we can all be broadly summarized as piles of flesh. The fact that a chemical released during pregnancy can determine what the baby will eventually find attractive. That is an extraordinary concept to me. One thing I think you would enjoy writing about is related to the personality vs. looks argument. Which is more important in determining “attractiveness”? Can someone’s looks influence how we perceive their personality? Here’s an article exploring this topic http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2014/06/building-attraction-which-matters-more-looks-personality/

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