Cupid's Dart Revealed

When we first look at someone, we know immediately if they appear to be attractive to us. The question why do we come to that rapid conclusion is of great interest to some psychologists. To us lesser mortals, our attention may be taken up with the larger question of how do we secure a date. But let us go back to the psychologists. One criterion (I insist one among many, but back to the scientific method) is the appearance of good health.

This has been recently put to the test using a group of undergraduates from the U of St. Andrew’s whom, as home grown students outnumber non-Scots, would have a least some background in the Calvinist tradition of being brought up on fresh air, porridge and a fear of the Lord. Re et al (1) asked these fresh-faced youngsters to rate faces for redness, healthy appearance and attractiveness. The degree of redness was manipulated by photographic manipulation to simulate higher blood oxygenation resulting from aerobic exercise. I stress nobody was stressed by being exercised to achieve these data.

The results? Attractiveness and health were deemed greatest for redder faces. So it seems that that young lady in the library who blushes scarlet when we ask her for a date may be destined to become the love of our life from that moment on.


2 Responses so far.

  1. yes a blush might be found attractive but flushed and sweaty maybe not so

  2. jazgal says:

    And, I don't feel that applies to a red neck, but a lovely blush on the cheeks is an attractive feature, no doubt!

Leave a Reply