This study examined the role of facial symmetry in the judgment of physical attractiveness. Four experiments investigated people's preference for either somewhat asymmetrical portraits or their symmetrical chimeric composites when presented simultaneously. Experiment 1 found a higher selection rate for symmetrical faces with neutral expression for portraits of old people and Experiment 2 indicated this may be because symmetry serves as cue for youth in old age. In Experiments 3 and 4 participants examined portraits with emotional expressions. Experiment 3 found a higher selection rate for asymmetrical faces, and Experiment 4 indicated this may be because observers perceived them as more genuine and natural. This study suggests that the low degree of facial asymmetry found in normal people does not attect attractiveness ratings (except for old age), probably because observers are not tuned to perceive it.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
|Published - Jun 1996
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience