When facial attractiveness is only skin deep

Benedict C. Jones, Anthony C. Little, D. Michael Burt, David I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whilst the relationship between aspects of facial shape and attractiveness has been extensively studied, few studies have investigated which characteristics of the surface of faces positively influence attractiveness judgments. As many researchers have proposed a link between attractiveness and traits that appear healthy, apparent health of facial skin might be a property of the surface of faces that positively influences attractiveness judgments. In experiment 1 we tested for a positive correlation between ratings of the apparent health of small skin patches (extracted from the left and right cheeks of digital face images) and ratings of the attractiveness of male faces. By using computer-graphics faces, in experiment 2 we aimed to establish if apparent health of skin influences male facial attractiveness independently of shape information. Results suggest that apparent health of facial skin is correlated both with ratings of male facial attractiveness (experiment 1) and with being a visual cue for judgments of the attractiveness of male faces (experiment 2). These findings underline the importance of controlling for the influence of visible skin condition in studies of facial attractiveness and are consistent with the proposal that attractive physical traits are those that positively influence others' perceptions of an individual's health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-576
Number of pages8
JournalPerception
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004

Fingerprint

Skin
Health
Personnel rating
Experiments
Computer Graphics
Computer graphics
Surface Properties
Cheek
Cues
Research Personnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., Burt, D. M., & Perrett, D. I. (2004). When facial attractiveness is only skin deep. Perception, 33(5), 569-576. https://doi.org/10.1068/p3463

When facial attractiveness is only skin deep. / Jones, Benedict C.; Little, Anthony C.; Burt, D. Michael; Perrett, David I.

In: Perception, Vol. 33, No. 5, 01.05.2004, p. 569-576.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jones, BC, Little, AC, Burt, DM & Perrett, DI 2004, 'When facial attractiveness is only skin deep', Perception, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 569-576. https://doi.org/10.1068/p3463
Jones, Benedict C. ; Little, Anthony C. ; Burt, D. Michael ; Perrett, David I. / When facial attractiveness is only skin deep. In: Perception. 2004 ; Vol. 33, No. 5. pp. 569-576.
@article{f6e96bf0405d41568aa2ef925037011f,
title = "When facial attractiveness is only skin deep",
abstract = "Whilst the relationship between aspects of facial shape and attractiveness has been extensively studied, few studies have investigated which characteristics of the surface of faces positively influence attractiveness judgments. As many researchers have proposed a link between attractiveness and traits that appear healthy, apparent health of facial skin might be a property of the surface of faces that positively influences attractiveness judgments. In experiment 1 we tested for a positive correlation between ratings of the apparent health of small skin patches (extracted from the left and right cheeks of digital face images) and ratings of the attractiveness of male faces. By using computer-graphics faces, in experiment 2 we aimed to establish if apparent health of skin influences male facial attractiveness independently of shape information. Results suggest that apparent health of facial skin is correlated both with ratings of male facial attractiveness (experiment 1) and with being a visual cue for judgments of the attractiveness of male faces (experiment 2). These findings underline the importance of controlling for the influence of visible skin condition in studies of facial attractiveness and are consistent with the proposal that attractive physical traits are those that positively influence others' perceptions of an individual's health.",
author = "Jones, {Benedict C.} and Little, {Anthony C.} and Burt, {D. Michael} and Perrett, {David I.}",
year = "2004",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1068/p3463",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
pages = "569--576",
journal = "Perception",
issn = "0301-0066",
publisher = "Pion Ltd.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - When facial attractiveness is only skin deep

AU - Jones, Benedict C.

AU - Little, Anthony C.

AU - Burt, D. Michael

AU - Perrett, David I.

PY - 2004/5/1

Y1 - 2004/5/1

N2 - Whilst the relationship between aspects of facial shape and attractiveness has been extensively studied, few studies have investigated which characteristics of the surface of faces positively influence attractiveness judgments. As many researchers have proposed a link between attractiveness and traits that appear healthy, apparent health of facial skin might be a property of the surface of faces that positively influences attractiveness judgments. In experiment 1 we tested for a positive correlation between ratings of the apparent health of small skin patches (extracted from the left and right cheeks of digital face images) and ratings of the attractiveness of male faces. By using computer-graphics faces, in experiment 2 we aimed to establish if apparent health of skin influences male facial attractiveness independently of shape information. Results suggest that apparent health of facial skin is correlated both with ratings of male facial attractiveness (experiment 1) and with being a visual cue for judgments of the attractiveness of male faces (experiment 2). These findings underline the importance of controlling for the influence of visible skin condition in studies of facial attractiveness and are consistent with the proposal that attractive physical traits are those that positively influence others' perceptions of an individual's health.

AB - Whilst the relationship between aspects of facial shape and attractiveness has been extensively studied, few studies have investigated which characteristics of the surface of faces positively influence attractiveness judgments. As many researchers have proposed a link between attractiveness and traits that appear healthy, apparent health of facial skin might be a property of the surface of faces that positively influences attractiveness judgments. In experiment 1 we tested for a positive correlation between ratings of the apparent health of small skin patches (extracted from the left and right cheeks of digital face images) and ratings of the attractiveness of male faces. By using computer-graphics faces, in experiment 2 we aimed to establish if apparent health of skin influences male facial attractiveness independently of shape information. Results suggest that apparent health of facial skin is correlated both with ratings of male facial attractiveness (experiment 1) and with being a visual cue for judgments of the attractiveness of male faces (experiment 2). These findings underline the importance of controlling for the influence of visible skin condition in studies of facial attractiveness and are consistent with the proposal that attractive physical traits are those that positively influence others' perceptions of an individual's health.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=3042730069&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - https://doi.org/10.1068/p3463

U2 - 10.1068/p3463

DO - 10.1068/p3463

M3 - Article

VL - 33

SP - 569

EP - 576

JO - Perception

JF - Perception

SN - 0301-0066

IS - 5

ER -