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Clare Sutherland, Xixi Liu, Ying Chu, Lingshan Zhang, Julian Oldmeadow, Andrew Young; Chinese perceivers’ facial first impressions. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1218. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1218.
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Studies of Western perceivers have found a three-factor structure to first impressions of Caucasian faces: approachability, youthful-attractiveness and dominance (Sutherland et al. 2013). These factors are thought to reflect responses to facial cues with a long evolutionary history related to threat and to sexual selection (Oosterhof & Todorov, 2008; Sutherland et al. 2013). If this is the case, then these dimensions should be universal across culture. However, as yet research has only examined models derived from Western first impressions. To address this, we sought to derive models of first impressions of Asian and Caucasian faces from Chinese perceivers’ spontaneous judgments. In Study 1, we asked 20 Chinese participants to freely describe 60 Asian face photographs. Participants frequently spontaneously inferred character traits, especially approachability-related traits. In Study 2, 120 Chinese participants rated a set of 500 Asian and 500 Caucasian face photographs on the twelve characteristics most frequently mentioned in Study 1. We found a three-factor structure for Chinese impressions of Caucasian faces, in which the first two factors were very similar to the first two factors of Western perceivers’ impressions of Caucasian faces (approachability and youthful-attractiveness: Sutherland et al. 2013). For Asian faces, we found four factors, including an additional attractiveness factor, indicating that there are also culture-specific aspects of facial evaluation.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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