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John M. Knoch, Jessie J. Peissig; The Effect of Motion on Facial Attractiveness Ratings. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):856. doi: 10.1167/13.9.856.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In our everyday encounters, we perceive dynamic faces and evaluate them for various characteristics including attractiveness. Most research on attraction has mainly relied on the use of static (non-moving) images. However, recent studies suggest that dynamic (moving) faces are evaluated differently than non-moving faces (Rubenstein, 2005) and that there may be additional features hidden in motion that are lost in static images (Lander, 2005). In this study, we recorded models expressing emotional expressions. Using these videos we created apparent-motion stimuli as well as stimuli that displayed the exact same frames, but did not have the effect of motion. Next, participants were asked to rate the models on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (very unattractive) to 7 (very attractive). Each participant was assigned to a movement condition (static or dynamic) and rated both male and female models in different emotional context trials (happy, sad, surprised, and angry). Data from 28 participants were analyzed. We found a significant difference between the ratings of male models in the dynamic (M = 2.36, SD = 1.24) and static (M = 2.71, SD = 1.36) conditions, as well as an interaction between the type of expression and movement condition for the male models F(3, 104) = 5.37, p = .002. For females, the dynamic stimuli were rated as more attractive than the static, however this difference was not significant. The direction of the trends suggests that there may be a sex difference in how motion contributes to attractiveness ratings. These data suggest that motion does contribute to perceived attractiveness, however these effects appear to be modulated by other factors.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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