Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research

Anthony C. Little, Benedict C. Jones, Lisa M. DeBruine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

592 Citations (SciVal)


Face preferences affect a diverse range of critical social outcomes, from mate choices and decisions about platonic relationships to hiring decisions and decisions about social exchange. Firstly, we review the facial characteristics that influence attractiveness judgements of faces (e.g. symmetry, sexually dimorphic shape cues, averageness, skin colour/texture and cues to personality) and then review several important sources of individual differences in face preferences (e.g. hormone levels and fertility, own attractiveness and personality, visual experience, familiarity and imprinting, social learning). The research relating to these issues highlights flexible, sophisticated systems that support and promote adaptive responses to faces that appear to function to maximize the benefits of both our mate choices and more general decisions about other types of social partners. copy; 2011 The Royal Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1659
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1571
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2011


  • Agreement
  • Attractiveness
  • Individual differences
  • Mate choice
  • Preferences
  • Variation


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