August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
The effect of variance in group members' attractiveness on the perceived facial attractiveness of small groups
Author Affiliations
  • Jun Kawahara
    Department of Psychology, Hokkaido University
  • Yuka Kobayashi
    Department of Psychology, Chukyo University
  • Michiteru Kitazaki
    Toyohashi University of Technology
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 492. doi:
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      Jun Kawahara, Yuka Kobayashi, Michiteru Kitazaki; The effect of variance in group members' attractiveness on the perceived facial attractiveness of small groups . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):492.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Representing multiple objects as an ensemble allows for simultaneous visual processing of the objects. The present study examined the effect of varying the attractiveness of individual group members on the attractiveness ratings of the group as a whole. Given that average faces are perceived as beautiful, large variations the attractiveness of individual group members should reduce the attractiveness of the whole group more so than small variations, even when the groups are matched for average attractiveness. Participants viewed a pair of different faces and rated the subjective physical attractiveness of the pair as a whole using a visual analog scale. High- and low-attractiveness pairs were created such that the average baseline attractiveness rating (pre-rated by other raters) of each high- and low-attractiveness pair was comparable. The perceived attractiveness of the low-attractiveness pairs was negatively correlated with the variation in baseline attractiveness; this indicates that the perceived attractiveness of low-attractiveness pairs is lower when differences between the members are larger. This trend was not observed in the high-attractiveness pairs. Similar patterns of results were observed in two follow-up studies, in which three faces were presented for 3s or 1s. Multiple regression analyses, which included average group attractiveness and variance in attractiveness as explanatory variables, and perceived attractiveness as the response variable, revealed that variance in the low- and middle-attractiveness groups was negatively correlated with perceived attractiveness; no such trend was observed in the high-attractiveness group. These results indicated that a large variation in members' attractiveness decreased the perceived attractiveness of the lower-attractiveness groups when the groups comprised two or three images. Simultaneous extractions of attractiveness from at least three facial images may not require attentional resources.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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