Bountiful Beauty: Increasing Appreciation of Beauty

  • Rhett DiessnerEmail author


A trait is defined as a stable pattern of behavior, cognition, emotion, and conation (choice making, the will); traits have a strong genetic component and are presumed to have adaptive value; but, nonetheless, can be substantially influenced by the environment, and thus develop and increase or deteriorate and lessen. In Positive Psychology, the traits of interest are called character strengths and virtues; appreciation of beauty (AoB) is one such trait. Traits can change levels fairly rapidly in childhood but become quite stable by age 30. The trait of Openness is highly associated with AoB. The trait of Openness increases from age 10 to 22; stays the same from age 22 to 50; has a small gain during age 50–60; and drops a fair amount from age 60 on. Based on a large meta-analytic study, it appears that Openness may be more difficult to intentionally change than any of the other four big traits. One study has found that giving elders inductive reasoning tasks to complete leads to an increase in trait Openness. There have been a handful of published studies which focused on interventions to increase AoB. One effective intervention, used across studies, is daily or weekly journaling about personal experiences of beauty (beauty logs).

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lewis-Clark State CollegeLewistonUSA

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