Fitting the Mind to the World: Face Adaptation and Attractiveness Aftereffects
Access StatusFull text of the requested work is not available in DASH at this time ("dark deposit"). For more information on dark deposits, see our FAQ.
Watson, Tamara L.
Clifford, Colin W. G.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationRhodes, Gillian, Linda Jeffery, Tamara L. Watson, Colin W. G. Clifford, and Ken Nakayama. 2003. Fitting the mind to the world: face adaptation and attractiveness aftereffects. Psychological Science 14(6): 558-566.
AbstractAverage faces are attractive, but what is average depends on experience. We examined the effect of brief exposure to consistent facial distortions on what looks normal (average) and what looks attractive. Adaptation to a consistent distortion shifted what looked most normal, and what looked most attractive, toward that distortion. These normality and attractiveness aftereffects occurred when the adapting and test faces differed in orientation by 90'(+45degrees vs. -45degrees), suggesting adaptation of high-level neurons whose coding is not strictly retinotopic. Our results suggest that perceptual adaptation can rapidly recalibrate people's preferences to fit the faces they see. The results also suggest that average faces are attractive because of their central location in a distribution of faces (i.e., prototypicality), rather than because of any intrinsic appeal of particular physical characteristics. Recalibration of preferences may have important consequences, given the powerful effects of perceived attractiveness on person perception, mate choice, social interactions, and social outcomes for individuals.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3203257
- FAS Scholarly Articles