Dissociating averageness and attractiveness

attractive faces are not always average

Lisa M. DeBruine, Benedict C. Jones, Layla Unger, Anthony C. Little, David R. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the averageness hypothesis of facial attractiveness proposes that the attractiveness of faces is mostly a consequence of their averageness, 1 study has shown that caricaturing highly attractive faces makes them mathematically less average but more attractive. Here the authors systematically test the averageness hypothesis in 5 experiments using both rating and visual adaptation paradigms. Visual adaptation has previously been shown to increase both preferences for previously viewed face types (i.e., attractiveness) and their perceived normality (i.e., averageness). The authors used a visual adaptation procedure to test whether facial attractiveness is dependent upon faces' proximity to average (averageness hypothesis) or their location relative to average along an attractiveness dimension in face space (contrast hypothesis). While the typical pattern of change due to visual adaptation was found for judgments of normality, judgments of attractiveness resulted in a very different pattern. The results of these 5 experiments conclusively support the proposal that there are specific nonaverage characteristics that are particularly attractive. The authors discuss important implications for the interpretation of studies using a visual adaptation paradigm to investigate attractiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420-1430
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

Attractiveness
Paradigm
Normality
Experiment
Proximity
Rating

Keywords

  • attractiveness
  • averageness
  • faces
  • visual adaptation

Cite this

Dissociating averageness and attractiveness : attractive faces are not always average. / DeBruine, Lisa M.; Jones, Benedict C.; Unger, Layla; Little, Anthony C.; Feinberg, David R.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol. 33, No. 6, 12.2007, p. 1420-1430.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DeBruine, Lisa M. ; Jones, Benedict C. ; Unger, Layla ; Little, Anthony C. ; Feinberg, David R. / Dissociating averageness and attractiveness : attractive faces are not always average. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 2007 ; Vol. 33, No. 6. pp. 1420-1430.
@article{38c3d73ee0f74466bb0be60f6f3098d8,
title = "Dissociating averageness and attractiveness: attractive faces are not always average",
abstract = "Although the averageness hypothesis of facial attractiveness proposes that the attractiveness of faces is mostly a consequence of their averageness, 1 study has shown that caricaturing highly attractive faces makes them mathematically less average but more attractive. Here the authors systematically test the averageness hypothesis in 5 experiments using both rating and visual adaptation paradigms. Visual adaptation has previously been shown to increase both preferences for previously viewed face types (i.e., attractiveness) and their perceived normality (i.e., averageness). The authors used a visual adaptation procedure to test whether facial attractiveness is dependent upon faces' proximity to average (averageness hypothesis) or their location relative to average along an attractiveness dimension in face space (contrast hypothesis). While the typical pattern of change due to visual adaptation was found for judgments of normality, judgments of attractiveness resulted in a very different pattern. The results of these 5 experiments conclusively support the proposal that there are specific nonaverage characteristics that are particularly attractive. The authors discuss important implications for the interpretation of studies using a visual adaptation paradigm to investigate attractiveness.",
keywords = "attractiveness, averageness, faces, visual adaptation",
author = "DeBruine, {Lisa M.} and Jones, {Benedict C.} and Layla Unger and Little, {Anthony C.} and Feinberg, {David R.}",
year = "2007",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1037/0096-1523.33.6.1420",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
pages = "1420--1430",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance",
issn = "0096-1523",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dissociating averageness and attractiveness

T2 - attractive faces are not always average

AU - DeBruine, Lisa M.

AU - Jones, Benedict C.

AU - Unger, Layla

AU - Little, Anthony C.

AU - Feinberg, David R.

PY - 2007/12

Y1 - 2007/12

N2 - Although the averageness hypothesis of facial attractiveness proposes that the attractiveness of faces is mostly a consequence of their averageness, 1 study has shown that caricaturing highly attractive faces makes them mathematically less average but more attractive. Here the authors systematically test the averageness hypothesis in 5 experiments using both rating and visual adaptation paradigms. Visual adaptation has previously been shown to increase both preferences for previously viewed face types (i.e., attractiveness) and their perceived normality (i.e., averageness). The authors used a visual adaptation procedure to test whether facial attractiveness is dependent upon faces' proximity to average (averageness hypothesis) or their location relative to average along an attractiveness dimension in face space (contrast hypothesis). While the typical pattern of change due to visual adaptation was found for judgments of normality, judgments of attractiveness resulted in a very different pattern. The results of these 5 experiments conclusively support the proposal that there are specific nonaverage characteristics that are particularly attractive. The authors discuss important implications for the interpretation of studies using a visual adaptation paradigm to investigate attractiveness.

AB - Although the averageness hypothesis of facial attractiveness proposes that the attractiveness of faces is mostly a consequence of their averageness, 1 study has shown that caricaturing highly attractive faces makes them mathematically less average but more attractive. Here the authors systematically test the averageness hypothesis in 5 experiments using both rating and visual adaptation paradigms. Visual adaptation has previously been shown to increase both preferences for previously viewed face types (i.e., attractiveness) and their perceived normality (i.e., averageness). The authors used a visual adaptation procedure to test whether facial attractiveness is dependent upon faces' proximity to average (averageness hypothesis) or their location relative to average along an attractiveness dimension in face space (contrast hypothesis). While the typical pattern of change due to visual adaptation was found for judgments of normality, judgments of attractiveness resulted in a very different pattern. The results of these 5 experiments conclusively support the proposal that there are specific nonaverage characteristics that are particularly attractive. The authors discuss important implications for the interpretation of studies using a visual adaptation paradigm to investigate attractiveness.

KW - attractiveness

KW - averageness

KW - faces

KW - visual adaptation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=38349158730&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.33.6.1420

U2 - 10.1037/0096-1523.33.6.1420

DO - 10.1037/0096-1523.33.6.1420

M3 - Article

VL - 33

SP - 1420

EP - 1430

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

SN - 0096-1523

IS - 6

ER -