Why Beautiful Things Make us Happy – Beauty Explained

by birtanpublished on August 28, 2020

A lot of things can be beautiful landscapes faces fine art or epic architecture stars in the sky or simply the reflection of the Sun on an empty bottle beauty is nothing tangible it only exists in our heads as a pleasant feeling if we have to define it we

Perceive something as beautiful if its color shape form or proportion somehow are appealing or delightful to us beauty is a very human experience that's been with us for millions of years even our first tools were trimmed to a

Symmetrical shape researchers have tried to find practical reasons why our ancestors invested the time to make their tools look nice but couldn't ready identify any it seems that early humans shaped their tools into tear drops

Simply because they liked them better that way throughout our history the definition of beauty has changed a lot ideals have shifted or turned into their opposites but beyond individual and contemporary tastes some things have

Never really gone out of fashion the golden ratio symmetry or fractal patterns can be found in the art and architecture of cultures from our beginnings to today humans seem to be in mysterious inherent

Agreement about the beauty of certain things the patterns that keep coming up are all rooted in nature they became part of our biology because they helped our ancestors survive parental patterns for example occur all

Over nature in snail shells flower heads waves or clouds identifying and assessing these things and phenomena correctly used to be vital to those clouds being rain will come soon are these waters safe to swim through can I

Eat this another pervasive thing is symmetry in nature it means everything is as it should be stems and trees and leaves and blossoms all grow symmetrically a deal with impressive antlers is probably a source

Of nutritious meat a deformed we tear may not be safe to eat a symmetrical face is more likely to belong to a healthy and fertile mating partner because symmetry is so common in fauna and flora it's extremely familiar to our

Brain it helped our ancestors evaluate their environment more easily and react quickly to danger things that helped us survive activate the reward center in our brain recognising signals of safety and nutrition triggered nice feelings in

Us so our sense of beauty probably evolved from pattern recognition but it goes way beyond that now humans seem to have evolved an instinct for beauty that is deeply hardwired into us it remains even after other processes in our brain

Stopped working Alzheimer's patients were asked to rank the beauty of several paintings then the experiment was repeated two weeks later the patients have long since forgotten the paintings but still ranked the beauty of the

Paintings in the same order one could argue that this doesn't say much so what if people stick to their personal preferences but other research has shown that we have a sort of lowest common denominator when it comes to beauty in

Different experiments people were asked to distinguish real from fake abstract paintings some were originals by Mondrian and Pollock that were painted based on strict rules like fractal patterns while the imitations were not

The majority picked out the original artworks this worked with paintings from both artists even though their stars are very different another experiment also used abstract artworks but asked people to

Pick them out among similar paintings made either by children or animals again the test subjects pointed out the legit paintings whose patterns were carefully planned and not random so while we have a hard time pinning down what beauty is

Or what it's based on we somehow recognize it when we see it humans don't navigate nature trying to survive day by day anymore we left the natural world behind and created our own we made the objects that surround us the things we

Wear and use and look at as we spread over the planet and our numbers grew we shaped a completely man-made environment in the process of doing so we often neglected beauty in favor of functionality cost or efficiency we

Built rows and rows of concrete housing blocks that nobody wants to live in we have ugly underground subway stations shabby public service buildings and sprawling malls one bland standardized box beside the next humans don't like

Monotony my tracking software has shown that people keep focusing on details and ornaments of architecture while brushing quickly over blank walls and not only are they no fun to look at they actually make us miserable experiments with skin

Sensors showed that looking at vast dull facades makes us feel bored and uncomfortable this kind of boredom has been linked to raised heart rates and stress levels and the opposite seems to be true too over

The last decades more and more studies have found that surroundings that are actually aesthetically pleasing to us can improve our well-being our behavior cognitive function and mood our bodies and brains react measurably and visibly

To everything that surrounds us beauty in particular has such a strong impact on our well-being that making useful things beautiful can actually make them better in 2017 a hospital examined recovery factors through observation and

Interviews with patients and found that visual art in their lounge make them more comfortable and happier about their stay in general another study looked at how well patients recovered in a hospital that

Had two wards a very old and rather ugly one and a newly renovated ward – the researchers surprised the patients that stayed in the new renovated environment needed a less pain medication and were released on average two days earlier

Than patients recovering in the old ward more beautiful surroundings made them feel better physically beauty also has an effect on us on a daily basis it can improve our general happiness a study that looked at the main factors

Influencing the happiness of adults revealed an unexpected result besides things like good health in a harmonious family life individual happiness is affected by how beautiful you find the city you live in beauty scored even

Higher than cleanliness or safety so what can we learn from all of this we know that we humans have been fine-tuned for millions of years to process visual input and assess our surroundings it's just what we're programmed to do and

We're starting to learn more about how much beauty as a property is really influencing us Beauty meets an inherent need for meaningful information maybe it would be worth giving it more space in this man-made world we have created this

Video was a collaboration with the creative agencies at Meister and Walsh as a contribution to their upcoming beauty exhibition the exhibition will be shown at the mark Vienna from October the 23rd 2018 until March the 31st 2019

And the mark Frankfort from May the 1st until September the 30th 2019 if you want to learn more about the impact of beauty and see tons of gorgeous installations and multimedia objects go check it out

You

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