Effects of the Height of the Internal Features of Faces on Adults' Aesthetic Ratings and 5-Month-Olds' Looking Times Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We examined the influence of the height of the internal features of faces on adults' ratings of attractiveness and on 5-month-olds' looking times. Subjects viewed drawings or coloured photographs of faces presented in pairs that were identical except that the internal features were at a low height, with a large forehead and small chin; at a high height, with a small forehead and large chin; or at a medium height. Adults rated faces with their features at the medium and low heights as more attractive than faces with their features at the high height, and, at least for drawings, rated faces with medium features as more attractive than faces with low features. Babies looked equally long at faces with their features at various heights except for looking slightly longer at faces with high rather than low features. The results suggest that the influence of feature height on reactions to faces is different for adults and 5-month-olds, and hence that it may be shaped by cultural learning and/or experience with faces sometime after early infancy.

publication date

  • July 1999