Cross-gender perceptions of facial attributes and their relation to attractiveness: Do we see them differently than they see us?

Jo Ellen Meerdink, Calvin P. Garbin, Daniel W. Leger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Examination of perceptions of human facial attributes revealed that individual attributes are similarly perceived by males and females. However, patterns of attribute interrelationships differ as a function of gender of the face. Undergraduate students (N=280) rated pictures of 40 male or female Caucasians on 12 physical attributes (e.g., nose size, face width) and overall attractiveness. The four sets of attribute ratings (defined by rater gender and picture gender) were submitted to principal components analyses, and five-factor solutions were found for each condition (accounting for about 76% of the variance). Comparisons of the four component solutions using confirmatory factor procedures revealed that male and female raters share one factor structure when rating photographs of female faces and another factor structure when rating photographs of male faces. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the patterns of attribute interrelationships were not "perceptual units" in the perception of attractiveness, and that different "rules" are used to assess the attractiveness of male and female stimuli faces. The importance of these results for models of facial attractiveness and interfacial similarity judgments are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Psychology(all)

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