Flowers ARE Special (03-01-18)

Humans seem to have a very special relationship with flowers and their shapes.  Huss and colleagues report that “Since ancient times people have been attracted by flowers and have invested precious energy to cultivate them even though there is no known reward for this costly behavior- in all cultures. . . . we investigated the comparative preference of 150 participants for four visually different flowers. . . . we investigated participants' perceptions of the concept of a generic 'flower' and compared this to a mandala. . . . All four different flowers were equally chosen as first choice and therefore we introduced the generic or universal concept of 'floweriness' that was characterized by enhancing calmness and happiness. On this level, the concept of the flower ranked higher for inducing happiness as compared to a mandala shape. . . . the results . . . point to a central concept of “floweriness” that transcends the specific cultural connotations of specific flowers.”

Efrat Huss, Kfir Yosef, and Michele Zaccai.  2017.  “The Meaning of Flowers:  A Cultural and Perceptual Exploration of Ornamental Flowers.”  The Open Psychology Journal, vol. 10, pp. 140-153, doi:  10.2174/1874350101710010140