Rejoice, liberal arts majors! Finally some good news for impractical creative types: they may be unemployable, but at least they’re sexy. According to a recent study conducted by psychologists Scott Barry Kaufman, James Kaufman, Gregory Feist, Aaron Kozbelt, Paul Silvia, and Sheela Ramesh, artistic creativity is more attractive to potential mates than practical creativity. In the study, entertainingly titled “Who Finds Bill Gates Sexy? Creative Mate Preferences as a Function of Cognitive Ability, Personality, and Creative Achievement,” 815 ethnically diverse participants were asked to rank 43 creative behaviors ranging from “painting a picture” to “making a website” according to which were most “sexually attractive in a potential mate.” Painting a picture was, by all accounts, much sexier.
The project was driven by evolutionary psychologist Gregory Feist’s work, which differentiates between what he calls the “applied/technological” creativity and “ornamental/aesthetic” creativity. The former is employed by the likes of engineers, computer scientists, and economists, while the latter is the province of visual artists, musicians, and creative writers. The Kaufmans and company found that both men and women tend to be more aroused by creativity of the ornamental/aesthetic sort. According to the survey, “making a clever remark,” “performing in a band,” and “taking artistic photographs” rank among the sexiest creative behaviors, while “presenting scientific or math papers” and “writing an original computer program” rank among the least sexy. My SAT scores stand vindicated.
Of course, as Scott Barry Kaufman is quick to admit in his article on the study in Scientific American, general trends aren’t universally applicable. Plenty of people still find mathematical, scientific, or other practical skills sexy, in large part because people tend to be attracted to other people with similar skill sets. In other words, “birds of a feather” sometimes trumps other considerations enough to overcome the sexual bias in favor of, for instance, art critics.
It’s also worth noting that Kaufman’s sample is disproportionately female and that studies attempting to quantify abstract notions like “creativity” are always somewhat suspect. But let’s hope this one has some currency — it makes it a good day to be an art blogger.
If there is an object you have ever desired in your life, rest assured that someone in the advertising industry made money convincing you of exactly that.
Eva Hagberg’s new book sheds light on the relationship between critic and publicist Aline Louchheim and architect Eero Saarinen.
The award-winning Canadian artist explores notions of power through the imagery of science fiction in portraits, sculpture, and objects.
Custodians, groundskeepers, and movers at the Rhode Island School of Design are seeking wage improvement, healthcare benefits, and a retirement package.
Ceramic fried eggs, critiques of real estate, and a whole booth dedicated to female-identifying saints caught my eye at Untitled, NADA, and Art Miami.
This affordable, interdisciplinary program with excellent facilities and private studios offers in-person instruction for 2023.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office recovered 23 looted objects from Shelby White’s home over the last year and a half.
An egregious “anti-woke” billboard erected in Los Angeles attempts to sow division among Latino/a/x communities.
The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
This week, missed signs of previous life on Mars, the appeal of forged art, and why are blue whales singing in lower octaves?
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Bob Thompson, Aimee Goguen, Uta Barth, the Transcendental Painting Group, and more.
There is the singular artist and then there is the more exclusive club that has only one member. Harvey belongs to the latter.