Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject Psychology - Media Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University (Art and Design Academy), course: Academic Conference, language: English, abstract: Beauty takes our breath away. We come to rest, are silenced, and in awe. When beauty opens our hearts, our capacity to care for what is just and true enlarges. The triumvirate of western values - truth, beauty, and goodness - has long served as the foundation for positive human development. The experience of beauty takes us deep within ourselves to the most intimate sense of who we are and what we have endured. Beauty is the ultimate attractor and healer. It transcends us by pulling us out of ourselves and generates us to heal, repair, and move forward. Beauty in its many forms has profound neurological and psychological impact upon us. Artistic expression, and flow stimulate the growth of new brain cells in the cerebral cortex. Such experiences raise physiological levels in the immune, the endocrine, and the nervous systems. 'Emotions play out in the theatre of the body. Feelings play out in the theatre of the mind.' As a significant psychologically transcendent experience, this arousal increases well-being, optimism, and resilience. Optimism is directly correlated with improved health. Drama, music, and art have the capacity to build and sustain resilience because creative engagement and participation is directly correlated with an overall positive impact on health, morale, and loneliness. This essays draws on some theoretical perspectives and research as they inform an understanding of the power of beauty and its transformational affect on the human psyche and development.
Cyrus Manasseh is an essayist, philosopher, historian and musician. He teaches in universities and privately as a higher education consultant. He is an international scholar and has presented his ideas in a number of countries. Dr Cyrus Manasseh PhD is also a Freelance Researcher, Novelist and author of the books 'The Lead Guitarist' and 'The Problematic of Video Art in the Museum 1968-90'. He is also author of numerous essays and articles in the field of art history, film, architecture, video, museums, evolving media and drama. His published essays and articles include: Art without the Aesthetics? Defining Conceptual & Post-Conceptual Practices', 'From Passive White Cube Viewer to Active Black Cube User: Tracking Changes in Museum Environments via Installation Art (Analogue to Digital 1968-2008)', 'Art, Language & Machines: Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia & Raymond Roussel'. He has presented his research at international academic forums which include those in London, Sydney, Perth, Venice, Prague and Harvard where he was session chair and has lectured and taught extensively in Australian Universities. He was a finalist for the International Award for Excellence in the Constructed Environment Journal Writers Award Annual Prize for the academic essay 'An Inquiry into the Design and the Aesthetics of the Venice Biennale Pavilions and Film'.