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Horizons of Psychology :: Psihološka obzorja

Scientific and Professional Psychological Journal of the Slovenian Psychologists' Association

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Is perception of facial attractiveness more influenced by previous information or comparison?

Lucija Lučka Debelak, Kaja Klančar, Tinkara Strel, Rebeka Šumrada, Lea Vaupotič & Anka Slana Ozimič

pdf Full text (pdf)  |  Views: 163  |  flagWritten in Slovene.  |  Published: June 15, 2023

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Abstract: Perception of facial attractiveness is largely influenced by individual experiences and preferences, as well as various cognitive factors. Previous research has shown that when comparing multiple faces, choosing the most attractive face is influenced by prior information about how attractive the face appears to others and by the possibility to compare a face with a similar but obviously less attractive face. The aim of our study was to confirm previous findings on the influence of prior information and the possibility of comparison on the assessment of facial attractiveness, and to investigate which of the factors has a greater influence. 498 participants (146 males) aged between 12 and 51 years participated in an online study. Participants underwent three experimental conditions (prior information, comparison, and combined condition) in which their task was to select the most attractive face from photographs of comparatively attractive faces. Results showed that in the prior information condition, participants more often selected a face that others found more attractive compared to a face without such prior information. In the comparison condition, participants were more likely to select a face that could be compared to a similar but obviously less attractive face than a face for which this possibility did not exist. In the combined condition, participants more often chose a face for which prior information was provided than a face that could be compared to a similar but obviously less attractive face. The results confirm the findings of previous research on prior information and the possibility of comparison and suggest that prior information has a greater influence on the perception of facial attractiveness.

Keywords: attractiveness, prior information, comparison

Debelak, L. C., Klančar, K., Stre, T., Šumrada, R., Vaupotič, L., & Slana Ozimič, A. (2023). Ali na zaznavanje privlačnosti obrazov bolj vplivajo predhodne informacije ali možnost primerjave? [Is perception of facial attractiveness more influenced by previous information or comparison?]. Psihološka obzorja, 32, 71–77.

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