The influence of averageness on children’s judgments of facial attractiveness
- Additional Document Info
- View All
We examined developmental changes in the influence of averageness on judgments of facial attractiveness by showing adults and children pairs of individual faces in which one face was transformed 50% toward its group average, whereas the other face was transformed 50% away from that average. In one comparison, adults and 5-year-olds rated the more average faces as more attractive whether the faces were of adult females, 5-year-old boys, or 5-year-old girls. The influence of averageness, however, was weaker in 5-year-olds than in adults. In another comparison, a new group of adults and 9-year-olds rated the more average faces as more attractive for male and female faces of adults, 9-year-olds, and 5-year-olds. The influence of averageness was again weaker for children than for adults, although the strength of 9-year-olds' preference was greater than that of 5-year-olds. Developmental changes may reflect the refinement of an average face prototype as children are exposed to more faces, increased sensitivity as visual perception develops, and/or the greater salience of attractiveness after puberty.
has subject area