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Beauty & Intrigue In America - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

By Dr. Sylvia Gearing

With the recent release of Angelina Jolie’s summer blockbuster “Salt,” Russian spies are all the rage these days. In fact, the news has been saturated with Russian spies in America – possibly subverting and sabotaging our country. Why is America fascinated with these female Russian spies?

Here is why these stories have legs:

Risk and Intrigue:

Americans are suckers for intrigue and risk. When danger calls, we enjoy that vicarious rush, without actually taking the risk ourselves. When we hear about spies and espionage, it catches people’s attention because it evokes images of the exotic and sexy -- things we may not experience in our own lives.

Beguiled by Beauty:

The attractiveness of these young women is another reason we are all following the story. Here’s the skinny on beauty:

Attractiveness and Influence:

The relationship between attractiveness and influence on others has been validated by literally thousands of studies. Like it or not, there is a beauty advantage. We just pay attention to pretty people.

Lasting Perceptions:

Throughout our lifetime, we endow attractive people with attributes of more intelligence and capability even when it's not warranted.

Predict People Based on Looks:

Most of us are making basic, uninformed guesses about people who are attractive. These theories about them are often unwarranted since pretty people are not smarter or harder working then the rest of us. But we see them that way anyway - often, with terrible outcomes.

So, if you’re wondering why you can’t turn on your TV without hearing about Russian spies this summer, look no further than the beauty and intrigue factors. It seems that Americans can’t get enough of beauty, especially when it’s dangerous.


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