1994 volume 23(7) pages 823 – 831
doi:10.1068/p230823

Cite as:
Samuels C A, Butterworth G, Roberts T, Graupner L, Hole G, 1994, "Facial aesthetics: babies prefer attractiveness to symmetry" Perception 23(7) 823 – 831

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Facial aesthetics: babies prefer attractiveness to symmetry

Curtis A Samuels, George Butterworth, Tony Roberts, Lida Graupner, Graham Hole

Received 10 July 1993, in revised form 10 March 1994

Abstract. The visual preferences of human infants for faces that varied in their attractiveness and is their symmetry about the midline were explored. The aim was to establish whether infants' visual preference for attractive faces may be mediated by the vertical symmetry of the face. Chimeric faces, made from photographs of attractive and unattractive female faces, were produced by computer graphics. Babies looked longer at normal and at chimenic attractive faces than at normal and at chimeric unattractive faces. Thare were no developmental differences between the younger and older infants: all preferred to took at the attractive faces. Infants as young as 4 months showed similarity with adults in the 'aesthetic perception' of attractiveaess and this preference was not based on the vertical symmetry of the face.

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