Adaptation may cause some of the face caricature effect

Peter J B Hancock, Anthony C Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)


One of the ways to demon strate a caricature preference is to ask participants to adjust a face image over a range from anti-caricature to caricature until it shows the best likeness to a specific individual. Since facial adaptation, whereby exposure to a face influences subsequent perception of faces, is rapid, it is possible that adaptation promotes the selection of a caricatured image. We tested whether giving participants a reference average face image, to counteract any adaptation, would reduce the degree of caricature selected for famous faces. Results confirmed a significant decrease but, even without an average, participants chose an anti-caricatured image. These data suggest a role for adaptation in generating caricature preferences while also suggesting such preferences are not inevitable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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