Jander A, Carbon C-C, 2011, "On the microgenesis of facial attractiveness" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 69
On the microgenesis of facial attractiveness
A Jander, C-C Carbon
Although many studies in attractiveness research concern the features which determines attractiveness, the time course of the underlying processes has not been investigated so elaborately. To find out which characteristics of a face are used to form an attractiveness judgment we employed a microgenetic approach with different time constraints starting from 14, 50, 100 to 500 ms contrasting them with a 3 s base condition. To get knowledge on the predictors of attractiveness, participants not only rated attractiveness, but also important variables such as symmetry, averageness, quality of skin and sexual dimorphism. Quality of skin was found to be an ultimate predictor for attractiveness already at 14 ms exposure, followed by symmetry and averageness. The predictive sexual dimorphism quality, in contrast, was very low. Regarding the sex of faces, we found closer relationships between predictive variables and attractiveness for female faces at a presentation time of 14 ms. Generally, correlations between predictors and attractiveness increased systematically with longer presentation times. To sum, the results further enlighten the differential predictive quality of important variables on facial outward appearance, and are discussed with respect to current theories of attractiveness.
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