The primary aim of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional expression and dynamic information on attractiveness judgements of male and female targets. 56 undergraduate participants were presented with video and static stimuli in smiling and neutral conditions (40 targets, 160 stimuli). Our results indicate that smiling and movement influence attractiveness judgements differentially for male and female targets. Smiling increases the attractiveness ratings of female, but not male targets, whereas movement increases the attractiveness ratings of male, but not female targets. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, our findings demonstrate that the evaluative standards used by raters differ across presentation conditions. Although ratings of women's faces are positively related across movement and expression conditions, attractiveness ratings of smiling and neutral men's faces are correlated within movement conditions, but not across them. These findings highlight the importance of studying faces in motion to determine the factors influencing interpersonal attraction, and caution against the overgeneralization of results from research using static faces.
Authors:Ian S. Penton-Voak, Angela C. Rowe and Jenna Williams
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.