Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Valencia College psychology professor, Derek Schorsch, spoke candidly to students this week on “The Psychology of Beauty,” in the continuing Valencia Psychology Speakers Forum.

The large conference room quickly filled up with students anxiously waiting to hear Schorsch speak. He began by explaining to the audience the difference between beauty and attraction. Beauty is a product of evolution, and attraction is the romantic, and sexual aspect.

Schorsch used humor and wit to gain the audience’s attention, and after his ‘Netflix and chill’ joke, laughter filled the entire room.

“Another aspect I want to impart to students is that we can use the scientific method to study all kinds of things, not just rocks and frog guts and hydrogen, but prejudice and love and beauty as well,” Schorsch said.

Schorsch explained the different aspects and perspectives of beauty. A couple of perspectives humans look at beauty are cognitive perspective, sociocultural perspective, and evolutionary perspective.

We look at beauty from a cognitive perspective, showing that our perceptions of beauty are largely judged by the unconscious mind,” Schorsch said. “We look at it from a sociocultural perspective as well, to investigate the extent to which judgments of beauty are universal versus culturally determined.”

The majority of the lecture was based around how society is setting up women for failure because of unrealistic body images. In today’s world, it’s not enough to be skinny, but you have to be ripped as well. Men face similar struggles and can sometimes feel some of this pressure.

Schorsch stresses how in today’s society when it comes to males, “bigger equals better.”

Schorsch’s unique learning technique of using modern celebrities, photographs, humor, and wit made this event not only informative but also entertaining.

“The lecture was awesome and really intriguing,” Valencia student Jacob Burke said. “The message that I gained is that everyone’s perception of beauty is different.”

The lecture quickly came to a close, but the information reached out across the crowd. We are all beautiful in our own ways, and we should embrace our genetics.

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