How your experience database affects your perception of attractiveness

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The available options vs the options you are aware of

In my previous article How the available options affect the relationship partner choice i said that people can sometimes sacrifice their real wants just because they believe they can't do better.

In this article i am going to talk about something very different which is how your perception of attractiveness can be changed based on the options you got exposed to.

An available option is the one you believe you can get if you did some effort but this doesn't mean that there aren't any better options out there that are out of your reach.

The options you got exposed to, on the other hand, are all the potential targets you encountered throughout your life including the ones you believe you can't get.

The person who saw a lot is always hard to please simply because his mind always compares the new people he meets to the database of the people he met through out his life. But there is another factor that determines how the perception of attractiveness changes which is the self esteem of a person.

If the person believes that he can attract those new beautiful people he encountered then most probably he will raise his attractiveness standards. On the other hand, if that person had low self esteem then getting exposed to more beautiful people might only motivate him to back off and to stick to the less attractive ones.

How your experience database affects your perception of attractiveness

If a man lives in a country that has low beauty standards then most probably the database of the people this person got exposed to won't include extreemly beautiful ones and as a result he might find a woman with average attractiveness very attractive! (see also Why do we find people attractive

On the other hand if this man traveled to a new country that has more beautiful women and spent some time there then most probably his perception of attractiveness will change and he wont find the women of his country as attractive as before.

This is also why psychologists believe that the media is committing a great crime against society with its movies and TV commercials. The more people get exposed to such movies and commercials the more their beauty standards shoot up and the less they become satisfied with average looking people. (see also How the media affects people)

This perception change can also be situational. If you went to a new school where most people are not that attractive then the person with average attractiveness will become very appealing to you just because he is the most attractive one of them all and not because he is really attractive. (see also Facial attractiveness psychology)

If a girl went to a yoga class then found 9 females and one average looking male then most probably this male will become much more desirable than if he were seen in class that had other attractive males.

Why people judge physical attractiveness differently

Each and every person has a different database of the people he encountered in his life. As a result people judge the physical attractiveness of others differently. (see also Why do people perceive physical attractiveness differently )

If a person works as an actor and constantly gets exposed to very attractive people then most likely he will find most average looking people much less desirable.

So your experience database affects your perception of attractiveness to a great extent. The good point is that even if you are not that attractive still this doesn't mean that people will find you unattractive because it all depends on their own knowledge database and the people they got exposed to in their lives!

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