The influence of head orientation, expression and gaze shift on perceived attractiveness of unfamiliar faces

Pik Ki Ho, Hanni Kiiski, Fiona N. Newell

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

Successful social interaction relies on effective processing of multiple facial cues such as eye gaze, expressions and head orientations. These dynamic features also influence aesthetic preferences for faces. Previously, we found faces conveying a neutral-to-smiling expression change coupled with an engaging gaze shift were perceived to be more attractive than those with a gaze shift away from the observer or an expression change from smiling to neutral. The current study investigated whether gaze shifts across different head orientations also affect the perceived attractiveness of expressive faces. 24 participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of smiling and angry faces with a gaze shift either towards or away from them and a front or three-quarter view. There was a main effect of head orientation with front facing faces rated as more attractive than ¾ view. A smiling expression was perceived as more attractive than angry expression. An interaction between head orientation and expression revealed that smiling, front facing faces were most preferred whilst faces with an angry expression, shown from the front facing view were least preferred. Interestingly, gaze shift had no effect on perceived attractiveness. Moreover, the interaction between gaze shift and expression found in our previous experiment disappeared when head orientation was included. Our research suggests that salient, social cues that are meaningful to the observer, such as head orientation, play an important role in judging the perceived beauty in faces. These results have important implications for understanding how social attention affects preferences for others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages34
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventXXIV. Conference of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics - The University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 29 Aug 20161 Sep 2016
https://iaea2016.univie.ac.at

Conference

ConferenceXXIV. Conference of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics
Abbreviated titleIAEA 2016
Country/TerritoryAustria
CityVienna
Period29/08/161/09/16
Internet address

Keywords

  • Empirical Aesthetics
  • Psychology of Art
  • Facial Attractiveness

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