Authors:
Ian S. Penton-VoakDepartment of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, BS8 1TU, Bristol, UK

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Angela C. RoweDepartment of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, BS8 1TU, Bristol, UK

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Jenna WilliamsDepartment of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, BS8 1TU, Bristol, UK

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Abstract

We investigated individuals’ representations of their partners’ facial appearance as a possible contributory factor to relationship maintenance. Couples completed measures assessing their attitudes to their relationship and their partner, and were photographed. These photographs were manipulated to increase or decrease facial attractiveness. Participants were asked to select the veridical image of their partner from a seven image array (three less attractive than the original, the veridical image, and three more attractive than the original). Individuals who rated their relationships positively were more likely to select images of their partners that had been made artificially more attractive as being the veridical images. Individuals dissatisfied with their relationship showed the opposite effect. When participants were analysed independently by sex, these relationships were only present for female participants. Familiar celebrity faces manipulated in the same way were perceived accurately. Implications of these findings for the maintenance of relationships and theories of face perception are discussed.

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Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 
Language English
Size  
Year of
Foundation
2007 (2003)
Publication
Programme
changed title
Volumes
per Year
 
Issues
per Year
 
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1789-2082 (Print)
ISSN 2060-5587 (Online)

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