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Attraction is the quality or feature that makes someone evoke interest or liking. Most people believe that physique tops the list of attractive qualities in the dating world. But, according to a survey and a study, there are other qualities men and women constantly search beyond beauty and charms.
The definition of attractiveness has eluded science, as mankind keeps on explaining the meaning of beauty. Beauty is subjected and classified as physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects of the target. Like interests and hobbies, the beauty of the dog Poodle may be viewed by many as majestic, while others find it unappealing. According to the Scottish philosopher David Hume: “beauty was no quality in things themselves; it exists merely in the mind that contemplates them, and each mind perceives a different beauty." Hume’s definition relates to the saying that most people have known -- “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Attraction can be assessed like a pyramid containing the factors of being attractive, according to Psychology Today. The foundation consists of both health and status, the emotional aspect takes over the second level, and logic is at the top of the pyramid. Health and status are the foundation of attraction because both define fight or flight responses. In these categories, people can determine confidence, skills, beliefs, occupation, material possessions, and physique, which are all essential for financial security, social status, and sexual interest.
The second level defines the emotional aspect that usually predicts proper relationship beyond the sexual. The emotional aspect features comfort, trust, emotional intelligence, uniqueness, and uncertainty. All of these factors are important during the development of commitment or a relationship, in which people fall in love. A small problem in one of the factors, such as trust and uniqueness, may damage an existing relationship or ruin a developing one.
The top part dominated by logic is the aspect that separates humans from animals. People use logic to make important decisions, such as marriage, family, and permanent residence. It can also be used to re-evaluate the relationship by qualifying the other factors of the pyramid, in case the future of the relationship is doubtful.
Determining attractiveness based on gender can pinpoint what makes men like with women and what women want with men. In a survey that involved more than 100,000 men and women from 53 different countries, it revealed the most attractive traits in men and women. The researchers instructed the participants to choose the top three traits they thought as the most important in a potential partner from 23 different traits. The respondents chose the following:
In the first five of the best traits, men chose two physical qualities but still preferred an intelligent partner. On the other hand, women chose more intangible qualities than physical ones that define behavior and cleverness but, they prefer their potential partner to be funnier than being too smart. The other traits that were chosen include communication skills, dependability, age, and ambition. As a whole, 9 out of 10 traits were the same for both genders, except for the age trait in the men’s list. None of the chosen traits were associated with material possession or social status of the potential partner.
Intelligence is an attractive trait to many people; some even find it sexually attractive, as with people who may be sapiosexual. Sapiosexuality refers to an individual who finds human intelligence and the human mind sexually attractive traits in the opposite sex. The common sign of this sexuality is how much a person values intelligence over good looks or is experiencing unquestionable attraction toward smart people.
A recent study that involved 383 adults, half from Australia while other from the United States, was conducted to help define sapiosexuality. They were initially asked to rank the importance of 13 different traits in a potential partner. They also reported the degree of possible attraction in seven different IQ levels, ranging from 1st to 99th percentile. They also completed a questionnaire that measures sapiosexuality. The analysis revealed that intelligence is an important trait in a potential partner. But, too much intelligence or higher IQ levels may not be an attractive feature. Participants preferred people with IQ percentile in the 90th or a score of 120, compared to people in the 99th percentile or a score of 135.
Having a good relationship benefits more than just the emotional and social aspects of your life. The positivity repels major negativity in life, such as anxiety, depression, and stress. These three are debilitating conditions that decrease the quality of life and daily functionality at home and at work. A happy relationship also translates to happy hormones, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These happy hormones or neurotransmitters regulate several aspects of the brain, including cognitive skills, which can be obtained from a healthy, romantic relationship.
[메디컬리포트=Ralph Chen 기자]