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Watch this video of a surfer on a 90 foot high wave. It's awesome. Then ask yourself whether you would ever want to do something like this. What adjectives would you use to describe the personality of someone who would seek out adventures like this?





Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 10.35.34 AM.png My older sister recently directed me to the "Color Sense Game", a series of images and words created by the marketing group at Pittsburgh Paints that are supposed to reveal the color palette that is "...all about you, your personality, your style, your senses....Now you have a starting point for designing your entire space around your personality, your style, and your own five senses." It sounded fun to me, and I was curious, too. You can take it yourself by clicking HERE.

So who are you? Are you the "eternally feminine" "Morning Rose?" fresh and outdoorsy "Al Fresco?" Perhaps, "Pop Art"? The color scheme of Pop Art is for those who are "lighthearted and daring, for those who don't always play by the rules, and for those who live to laugh out loud." My illustration here is from the Pop Art page; I chose it over others because its colors are so bright...and because I like the parrot. Parrots are cool. (All the categories are HERE).

And why would you care? Why would you want to know which palette you "feel"? Pittsburgh Paint assures us that this knowledge will simplify your life ! "The ColorSense Game 2.0 eliminates the feeling of having too many choices and offers you your own personal set of colors for all the design elements in your room or space."
So you, too, can "create beautiful and harmonious atmospheres for your home." It's a win-win. Your spaces are beautifully decorated. Your life is more simple. Pittsburgh Paints sells more product.

While I am confident that this game wouldn't meet UM standards of reliability and validity for personality measurement, I was interested professionally as well. I have thought for a long time that psychologists have not paid enough attention to aesthetics, the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and art. If you believe, as I do, that Art is of fundamental importance to human well-being, then you can appreciate why this question interests me. It seems to me, at least based on anecdotes, that what we find beautiful inspires us, pulls us out of our petty concerns; beauty leads us to contemplate the world with fresh eyes and to behave towards others more generously, more kindly, more justly.

But how would one study something as subjective as "beauty?" We find beauty in different things, and there are huge individual differences in the degree to which we are touched by beauty. Where would a psychologist start? The kinds of items that the Pittsburgh Paints marketing team put together seem to me to exactly the kind of visual and verbal stimuli that might work as variables to study "beauty." Not only fun, fun, fun, but potentially useful. We could start by trying to identify what people find beautiful and what the impact of that beauty is on their behavior.

What about you? What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? Do you think it had an impact on you?

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