bodies in motion_m - Bodies in Motion Karl Grammer Viktoria...

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1 Bodies in Motion Karl Grammer, Viktoria Keki, Beate Striebel, Michaela Atzmüller, Bernhard Fink, and Astrid Juette Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology Althanstrasse 14 A-1090 Vienna /Austria Manuscript for the workshop "Darwinian Aesthetics" Konrad-Lorenz-Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research /Altenberg/Austria FIRST DRAFT ! "From the invisible atom to the celestial body lost in space. Everything is movement….it is the most apparent characteristic of life: it manifests itself in all functions. It is even the essence of several of them." Etienne-Jules Marey (1839-1904) the pioneer of motion research Biological theories and the empirical assessment of attractiveness Most evolutionary psychologists suggest that there are biological reasons for body shape and size preferences in potential sexual partners. According to Buss (1989), a woman’s physical attractiveness is largely a reflection of her potential reproductive success. Recent research suggests the same for males. Reproductive success is defined as the optimum (for a given environment) number of children surviving to reach sexual maturity and to become parents themselves. Buss suggests that there are cultural universals in desired body size and shape for man- woman sexual attraction, and that these derive from the division of labor between men and woman during the course of evolution, where males were specialized in hunting activities and woman in food gathering and child rearing. Natural and sexual selection are believed to have operated in a way that men and women whose bodies were best suited for these tasks were most attractive to potential mates. But what are the actual features that make us look twice at a face or a body and sigh in appreciation? Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder or is our perception of beauty ingrained
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2 within the human psyche? It was once widely believed that standards of beauty were arbitrarily variable (Etcoff, 1994). Recent research suggests, however, that peoples´ views of facial Yoshikawa, 1994). Three basic characteristics are known to influence human attractiveness judgments: youth (reflects absence of senescence), certain sexually dimorphic sex hormone markers such as chin size (reflects hormonal health) and symmetry of bilateral traits (reflects developmental health) (evidence reviewed in Thornhill and Gangestad, 1999). These three characteristics all pertain to health, leading to the conclusion that humans have evolved to view certain bodily features as attractive because the features were displayed by healthy others (Grammer & Thornhill, 1994; Up to now four main components have been identified which compose physical markers
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2010 for the course PSYCHOLOGY clinical p taught by Professor Assistant during the Spring '10 term at École Normale Supérieure.

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bodies in motion_m - Bodies in Motion Karl Grammer Viktoria...

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