August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
People perception: Attractiveness from shape and motion
Author Affiliations
  • Nikolaus Troje
    Department of Psychology, Queen's University
  • Andreas Bieg
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Naureen Mahmood
    Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
  • Betty Mohler
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Michael Black
    Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 393. doi:10.1167/16.12.393
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      Nikolaus Troje, Andreas Bieg, Naureen Mahmood, Betty Mohler, Michael Black; People perception: Attractiveness from shape and motion. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):393. doi: 10.1167/16.12.393.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

While there exists plenty of work on facial attractiveness only little is known about how the rest of the body determines the perception of another person. We were particularly interested in how the shape of the body and the way it moves contributes to attractiveness. Observers (20 male and 20 female) rated the attractiveness of 50 men and 50 women from the BML database each displayed in either of three ways in a 3D immersive virtual reality: (a) static bodies reconstructed from the motion capture data by means of MoSh (Loper et al. 2014, SIGGRAPH Asia) displayed as detailed 3D shapes ; (b) walking stick-figures (Troje 2002, JOV); (c) same bodies as above, but animated with the corresponding walking movements. Correlations between all 12 sets of ratings (2 participant sex x 2 walker sex x 3 display types) reveal three different factors that contribute to the perception of attractiveness. The first factor is sexual dimorphism and applies to female attractiveness assigned to stick figures and moving meshes. The more feminine a woman, the more attractive she is rated. The second is characterized by increased vertical movement which makes the attractive walker appear bouncy, confident, and vigorous. It dominates male attractiveness assigned to stick-figures and moving meshes. The third factor is characterized by slim, tall body shape (attractive) as compared to stout and wider shapes and applies to ratings of static body shapes of both male and female walkers. Male and female observers agree in all cases. The way we move affects our appeal to others as much as the appearance of the static body. While sexual dimorphism dominates female attractiveness, it does not play much of a role for male attractiveness – neither in the shape nor in the motion domain.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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