The Science of Attraction

By: Samantha Soroczak       

 What makes a person attractive? When you see someone you just met, someone that you know nothing about, you can almost automatically judge him or her. How is it second nature to us to just rate someone right on the spot, a person we have never met before? Well, subconsciously, we have a rating system we may not even know about, but it is pretty scientific.
       When you look at someone is the first thing you notice the symmetry of his or her face? A symmetrical face may not be the first thing you conciously noticed, but it does happen to be one of the key factors of why you are attracted to certain people.   “Sometime around 300 B.C., the Greek mathematician Euclid identified the “Golden Proportion,” an ideal face two-thirds as wide as it is tall, with a nose no longer than the distance between the eyes,” according to Elle magazine.  It has been researched that symmetrical people tend to be healthier than most others and biologically we are programmed to seek out the healthiest partners. Now you may be wondering if you have a symmetrical face. There is a science behind it that you can use to figure this out. Horizontally your face should be divided into three equal pieces. The forehead being one, second the bottom of the forehead to the nose, and then the third piece being from the nose to the chin. Then there are many other precision measurements of things like, the distance between your eyes, or the the exact ratio of each facial feature that are used to determine a score.   Most people tend to rate between a 4 and a 6 on this scale. When we think about celebrities like Brad Pitt we think “Perfect Score” and “ 10 out of 10,” but the honest truth is no one is perfect. Brad Pitt may have had the highest score used by this formula, but it was only a 9.3 out of 10, which leads to some speculation that there may be an even more attractive man out there.
       Another branch of science determines our interest in people we actually know, as opposed to those we just see in the media.  You guessed it; chemistry.There is a difference between love and chemistry, but chemistry plays a surprising role in attraction. To figure that one out you’re going to need to smell the object of your affection. If you like the way a person smells when they are clean, without any cologne on or fragrances from other products, then there is chemistry. How a person smells  gives us a good subconcious physical clue of their genetic makeup. Humans emit a chemical signal in their hormonal composition known as pheromones. Studies have shown that women are most attracted to men with a different MHC (major histocompatibillity complex) from them.  So what smells attractive to one person might not be for another. MHC is a collection of genes that are related to immune systems. Unconsciously, we want to find someone who has a different immune system than ours because that helps with the survival of offspring. It may sound weird smelling a person to see if you are attracted to them, but you need to be somewhat attracted to them in the first place to even get that close.
       Science and evolution have a lot more to do with attraction than people might think. So next time you find yourself attracted to someone just know it’s not just based on your feelings, it’s the science.

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