Background. The evaluation of the visual object by the perceiving subject depends both on the features of the object (qualities, characteristics, properties), on the one hand, and the characteristics of the subject of perception (mentality, inherent archetypes, gender, aesthetic representations, value systems, motivation, etc.). Therefore, speaking about external beauty, we must first build a typology of subjects of evaluation, and then conduct an analysis of preferences within homogeneous groups.
Objective. Isolation of signs and semantic interpretations of visual preferences is a complex task. We limit its decision to a search, pilotage study of a supposedly more or less homogeneous sample of male students from one of the Siberian universities, Russia.
Design. The study involved 30 males aged 20-23 years. The subjects were presented with 9 photographs, which they had to rank according to 8 descriptors discussed in focus groups previously. The ranking of photo portraits was carried out with respect to two motives: the desire to have physical intimacy and the possibility to be happy with woman in the photo.
Conclusion. Four main independent factors of female’s estimation of men were revealed, which explained 89 per cent of the total variance. Motivational vector is identified as a certain direction in the semantic space that defines the most optimal ratio of factors required to meet the existing needs. Projections of each coordinate of the vector object of all axes of the semantic space allow to determine the contribution of each factor to the motivational significance of the objects. The psychosemantic approach can be realized when solving a wide range of research in the study of human preferences (advertising, fashion, image of socially significant persons, objects of perception of art, etc.), and also to analyze the motivation of the person on whom the system of his preferences is based. Vector descriptions used in psychosemantics provides the psychologist with the opportunity to apply the mathematical methods and analogues of the natural sciences methods to analyze the mentality of a person and his/her individual picture of the world.