Analysis of Human Behavior in Survival of the Prettiest

Nancy Etcoff, the author of the “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty,” sought to acknowledge how aesthetics affect human habits. As a psychologist, partaking in persevering with education within the subject, significantly in areas regarding magnificence and aesthetics and its relations to the workings of the mind, and within the application of psychology by way of educating in Harvard (“Nancy Etcoff,” N. D. & “Nancy Etcoff,” 2009), Etcoff has gained a large perspective on how beauty compels and guides human behavior.

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With strong supporting evidences primarily based on research, significantly the contribution of different psychologists such as Judith Langlois, Etcoff was capable of set up the notion that the idea of magnificence is need learned or adapted from society – that’s, from influences of the household, or the current trends in fashion and sweetness, and such – however rather is an innate or biological assemble that is justified by numerous causes that trigger human beings to treat things and different people as objects of beauty.

For the rest of this textual content, an important elements of Etcoff’s guide shall be explored, paying attention to their relation to Evolutionary Psychology, seeking to combine them with real-life situations that rationalize Etcoff’s arguments.

The arguments offered by Etcoff in her guide could also be used to explicate some real-life events and situations that justify why according to Etcoff, physical attraction is an instinctive course of born out of the cycle of evolution or the want to procreate or reproduce, why the idea of beauty is part of human nature since start and never discovered or adapted, as supported by the examine performed by Langlois concerning the attraction that infants have toward beautiful faces, why beauty is a thing or power and influence which is considered one of the indicators of status or position in society, why people worth beauty and aesthetics an extreme quantity of, why folks seem to worth some individuals based on their bodily appearance the most as in contrast with different people, why people tend to gravitate in the direction of other people who present their outer magnificence, and why Etcoff sets a boundary between magnificence and fashion stating why fashion is only used to heighten magnificence but just isn’t a half of a human being’s natural beauty itself.

(Etcoff, 1999) In a typical faculty setting, the scholar inhabitants is separated into cliques. From my private experiences, I would have to admit that dissecting the high school setting is probably one of the effective methods to explore Etcoff’s ideas.

We haven’t solely seen this cliche of school cliques in films and tv shows or learn them in books, but have skilled it in high school ourselves, the place Etcoff’s concept of beauty is personified inside high school’s social structure. Various cliques in highschool constitute essentially the most stunning folks in one group, the cheerleaders and the jocks, the brainy-studious sorts in a single group; the computer geeks in another, the rebellious varieties form one other group, and so on. If we combine Etcoff’s concepts of magnificence on this typical high school setting, we understand how Etcoff’s concept of the Assortative Mating explicates why cheerleaders and jocks appear to bond and set up fascinating relationships with one another well.

Assortative mating as a phenomenon explains why individuals who look alike appeal to one another (Etcoff, 1999) Aside from the fact that they’re engaged in the same college sports activities, additionally they resemble every other’s magnificence. Cheerleaders are alleged to be tall, ideally have flawless skin and long hair, long legs, slim determine, statuette posture, good-looking faces that are at all times beaming with amiable smiles, and such. The jocks, on the other hand, are alleged to have masculine bodies because of the nature of their sports, and tall and statuette figures. According to Etcoff (1999), the bodily features than a human being possess turns into the reason why other folks will discover him beautiful or not.

In the case of the cheerleaders and the jocks, not solely are they commonly attracted to each other as explicated by the phenomenon known as Assortative Mating, however are objects of attraction for other people outdoors their clique as a result of unconscious representations that folks have on various physical options. Comparing all the sorts of cliques that coexist within the highschool setting, cheerleaders and jocks get probably the most consideration from different individuals. This sort of inconsistencies within the treatments between them and other cliques in high school is described by Etcoff by explicating the beauty and aesthetics beneath the context of causes or causes for admiration and bodily attraction. Etcoff (1999) talked about how a muscular physique for men constitutes sexual dimorphism or commonplace body structures or features that a person should possess.

In addition, a muscular construct, as exhibited by jocks are symbolisms for power and vigor that the other sex would admire from males. The requirements as set by sexual dimorphism and the representations of the assorted symbolisms of physical characteristics exhibited by human beings turn into the rationale why folks regard the type, based on physical characteristics, of cheerleaders and jocks that are not present in different cliques in high school. Perhaps this typical set-up in the highschool setting may even validate Etcoff’s arguments that beauty is something that’s innate in nature, not dictated by culture or social dimensions such as trends in trend and sweetness, and such, and the requirements of beauty is something that’s common to all human beings.

The phenomenon – that’s the bonding together of the cheerleader and jock sorts in high school, their bodily attraction toward one another, and the attention that they get from different folks outside their cliques – could also be thought of as a cliche or a typical high school setting, and we ask why is this is so. Things or situations that are described as typical are the things which were occurring prior to now until the present, justifying why they are expected in numerous current situations. This signifies that the phenomenon that describes the interaction and behavior of the excessive school inhabitants concerning the cheerleader and jock types have been going on a long time in the past following a pattern.

Explaining why this pattern occurs is supported by Etcoff’s idea of shared standards and preferences toward magnificence and aesthetics and that these requirements and preferences are justified by various scientific ideas corresponding to Assortative Mating, Sexual Dimorphism, and other ideas of Evolutionary Psychology, leading to the identical phenomenon every 12 months in high school. With this in mind, we realize how Etcoff’s claims could additionally be true, that beauty just isn’t subjective and influenced by exterior components, however is one thing that is innate and shared by all.


  1. Etcoff, N. (1999). Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty. New York, NY: Anchor Books.
  2. “Nancy Etcoff. ” (N. D. ) Retrieved February 1, 2009, from The Third Culture. Website: http://www. edge. org/3rd_culture/bios/etcoff. html
  3. “Nancy Etcoff. ” (2009). Retrieved February 1, 2009, from Harvard Science. Website: http://harvardscience. harvard. edu/directory/researchers/nancy-etcoff

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