As a person who approaches design from the cognitive science and human factors angle, I think I resemble this quote.

“User interface experts are often suspicious of the role of visual aesthetics in user interfaces—and of designers who insist that graphic emotive impact and careful attention to a site’s visual framework really contribute to measurable success.”

Patrick Lynch continues in his article to support his argument with scientific references. Does it convince you?

“Affective and cognitive responses to visual stimuli are governed by a three-stage process in the brain, at visceral, behavioral, and reflective processing levels:”

three stage process diagram

Here is the whole article on the A List Apart site.