Effects of Eye Size on Adults' Aesthetic Ratings of Faces and 5-Month-Olds' Looking Times
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In two experiments, we investigated the influence of eye size on adults' ratings of faces' attractiveness and 5-month-olds' looking times. Subjects viewed four pairs of female faces that were identical except for the size of the eyes. Whether they saw black-and-white drawings (experiment 1) or coloured photographs (experiment 2), adults rated the faces with larger eyes as more attractive than the faces with smaller eyes. Babies looked equally long at the drawn faces with larger and smaller eyes (experiment 1), but with the more realistic photographed faces, they looked slightly but significantly longer at the versions with larger eyes (experiment 2). Overall, our results suggest that a modest preference for larger eyes that has emerged by 5 months of age may contribute to the development of adult aesthetic preferences.
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