Testing the Averageness Hypothesis

Although the averageness hypothesis of facial attractiveness proposes that the attractiveness of faces is mostly a consequence of their averageness, 1 study has shown that caricaturing highly attractive faces makes them mathematically less average but more attractive. Here the authors systematically test the averageness hypothesis in 5 experiments using both rating and visual adaptation paradigms. Visual adaptation has previously been shown to increase both preferences for previously viewed face types (i.e., attractiveness) and their perceived normality (i.e., averageness). The authors used a visual adaptation procedure to test whether facial attractiveness is dependent upon faces' proximity to average (averageness hypothesis) or their location relative to average along an attractiveness dimension in face space (contrast hypothesis). While the typical pattern of change due to visual adaptation was found for judgments of normality, judgments of attractiveness resulted in a very different pattern. The results of these 5 experiments conclusively support the proposal that there are specific nonaverage characteristics that are particularly attractive. The authors discuss important implications for the interpretation of studies using a visual adaptation paradigm to investigate attractiveness.

Testing the Averageness Hypothesis.

30/08/2015 · It's what's known as the "averageness hypothesis ..

hypothesis, facial averageness ..

Intriguingly, Perrett et al. found that when a new group of participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of each of the 3 composite faces (the average of all 60 faces, the average of the 15 most attractive faces and the ‘hyper-attractive’ that had exaggerated attractive qualities) the hyper-attractive face was considered the most attractive of the 3. This is noteworthy because the hyper attractive face was mathematically the least average of all 3 composites. Because the hyper-attractive face was the least average of the 3 composites judged, but also the most attractive, this finding is very strong evidence that averageness is not necessarily the critical determinant of facial attractiveness. In other words, Perrett et al's findings are evidence against the Averageness Hypothesis of facial attractiveness (which proposes that ‘attractive faces are only average’) because the findings show that highly attractive faces deviate systematically from an average shape.

Face Research ⇒ Students ⇒ Topic 3: Are attractive …

Although the averageness hypothesis of facial attractiveness proposes that the attractiveness of faces is mostly a consequence of their averageness, 1 study has shown that caricaturing highly attractive faces makes them mathematically less average but more attractive.

These experiments shed new light on existing theories of facial attractiveness such as the averageness, smoothness and symmetry hypotheses.
hypothesis on symmetry and averageness parameters, dimorphic results contradicting the hypothesis

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The authors used a visual adaptation procedure to test whether facial attractiveness is dependent upon faces ’ proximity to average (average-ness hypothesis) or their location relative to average along an attractiveness dimension in face space (contrast hypothesis).

27/12/2017 · Here the authors systematically test the averageness hypothesis in 5 experiments using both rating and visual adaptation paradigms.

Why are average faces attractive

Our reactions to facial self-resemblance could reflect either specialized responses to cues of kinship or by-products of the general perceptual mechanisms of face encoding and mere exposure. The adaptive hypothesis predicts differences in reactions to self-resemblance in mating and prosocial contexts, while the by-product hypothesis does not. Using face images that were digitally transformed to resemble participants, I showed that the effects of resemblance on attractiveness judgements depended on both the sex of the judge and the sex of the face being judged: facial resemblance increased attractiveness judgements of same-sex faces more than other-sex faces, despite the use of identical procedures to manipulate resemblance. A control experiment indicated these effects were caused neither by lower resemblance of other-sex faces than same-sex faces, nor by an increased perception of averageness or familiarity of same-sex faces due to prototyping or mere exposure affecting only same-sex faces. The differential impact of self-resemblance on our perception of same-sex and other-sex faces supports the hypothesis that humans use facial resemblance as a cue of kinship.

Averageness Hypothesis Another hypothesis is the averageness hypothesis from BIO 112 at CSU Fullerton

Characteristics of hypothesis in research