Manipulating gaze direction and emotion expression to differentiate between beauty and attractiveness


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A Master's thesis.
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Master (thesis) (master)
Manipulating gaze direction and emotion expression to differentiate between beauty and attractiveness
Jonauskaite Domicele
Sander David
Institution details
Université de Genève
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
University of Geneva
CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland
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Attractiveness and beauty have been mainly treated as synonyms in the literature. However, the two aesthetic judgments might reflect different motivations. Attractiveness may relate to a mating drive whereas beauty may relate to a general aesthetic appraisal of the face. The former may be more personal whereas the latter may be more general. In the animal and clinical literature, dissociation between wanting (motivation to engage obtain a reward) and liking (pleasure from reward consumption) has been identified. It is possible that attractiveness may reflect the wanting aspect whereas beauty may reflect the liking aspect of an evaluation of a face. Here, we made the first attempt to dissociate beauty and attractiveness in a healthy population. In particular, gaze direction, head position and smiling have been shown to influence attractiveness. Here, we hypothesised that these social cues would be less influential on beauty judgments compared to attractiveness judgments. We varied gaze direction, head position, and facial expression on computer-modelled male faces and asked 92 young (M = 20.92) heterosexual females to separately rate attractiveness and beauty of these faces. Results showed that beauty was as malleable by social cues as attractiveness. Specifically, faces looking directly at the observer with their heads turned towards them were rated most positively. Nonetheless, attractiveness scores explained only 51.70 % of variance in beauty judgments. Hence, these two aesthetic appraisals were not identical. Future research is necessary to identify whether beauty and attractiveness are quantitatively or qualitatively different. That is, whether attractiveness is an additional component of beauty or whether in some situations they can be completely dissociable aesthetic appraisals of a face.
attractiveness, beauty, faces, emotional expressions, eye gaze direction
Open Access
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28/05/2021 14:01
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28/05/2021 14:03
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