Testing 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.