Ingrid Olson, a professor in Penn's Department of Psychology and researcher at Penn's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience conducted an experiment, which reported that people couldn't resist a pretty face. The study also said that people associate beauty with positive trait. Participants were given a fraction of a second to assess the trait attractiveness.
Participants took very little time in judging attractiveness knowing very little information bout the person. The researcher long with Christy Marshuetz, of Yale University published their findings in the journal Emotion, a publication of the American Psychological Association. They reported that those who are physically attractive enjoy more benefits and advantages than the unattractive people.
Attractiveness is associated with many benefits and this is been proved by many researches. They are paid more, thought to be intelligent and receive more attention in all walks of life. The inclination towards pretty faces is not very well understood but it is inborn and cross-cultural.
Three experiments were done to analyze the liking for attractiveness.
In the first study participants were asked to rate faces, males and females (unknown). Mostly they were taken from different high school yearbooks and Internet. The pictures were shown for a period of .013 seconds on a computer screen.
The participants' complained of not able to view the pictures and resorted to guessing but the research showed that they were able to accurately rate the attractiveness of the faces.
The pictures used in the study were either very pretty or extremely ugly. Though the pictures were shown to them in rapid succession they were able to assess accurately the physical beauty.
In case o the other two experiments the participants were tested for their association capacity. They were asked to associate pretty faces to that of a positive trait. This was brought about by showing a face on the screen and then asking them to classify a word shown on the screen as good or bad. The researchers found that the participants took very little time in classifying the good ones such as laughter or happiness after viewing a pretty face.
The researcher concluded by saying that pretty faces are good and makes us think of good thoughts. He also said that the brain functions in such a way that it responds to attractive people better than the unattractive people.
In case of the third experiment it was conducted in a similar way but instead of a face they made use of images of houses. This proved that beauty is not a general bias but limited to socially important stimuli such as pretty faces. This is because the participants did not respond that well in identifying the good words after viewing the image of a house.