Comparing theory-driven and data-driven attractiveness models using images of real women's faces

Holzleitner, I. J. , Lee, A. J. , Hahn, A. C. , Kandrik, M. , Bovet, J., Renoult, J. P., Simmons, D. , Garrod, O., Debruine, L. and Jones, B. C. (2019) Comparing theory-driven and data-driven attractiveness models using images of real women's faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(12), pp. 1589-1595. (doi: 10.1037/xhp0000685) (PMID:31556686)

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Abstract

Facial attractiveness plays a critical role in social interaction, influencing many different social outcomes. However, the factors that influence facial attractiveness judgments remain relatively poorly understood. Here, we used a sample of 594 young adult female face images to compare the performance of existing theory-driven models of facial attractiveness and a data-driven (i.e., theory-neutral) model. Our data-driven model and a theory-driven model including various traits commonly studied in facial attractiveness research (asymmetry, averageness, sexual dimorphism, body mass index, and representational sparseness) performed similarly well. By contrast, univariate theory-driven models performed relatively poorly. These results (a) highlight the utility of data driven models of facial attractiveness and (b) suggest that theory-driven research on facial attractiveness would benefit from greater adoption of multivariate approaches, rather than the univariate approaches that they currently almost exclusively employ.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kandrik, Dr Michal and Jones, Professor Benedict and Garrod, Dr Oliver and Hahn, Dr Amanda and Lee, Dr Anthony and Holzleitner, Dr Iris and Simmons, Dr David and Debruine, Professor Lisa
Authors: Holzleitner, I. J., Lee, A. J., Hahn, A. C., Kandrik, M., Bovet, J., Renoult, J. P., Simmons, D., Garrod, O., Debruine, L., and Jones, B. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0096-1523
ISSN (Online):1939-1277
Published Online:26 September 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 APA
First Published:First published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 45(12):1589-1595
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
604381OCMATE Do oral contraceptives alter womens mate preferences?Benedict JonesEuropean Research Council (ERC)OCMATE FP7ERC282655RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY
672531KINSHIP: How do humans recognise kin?Lisa DebruineEuropean Research Council (ERC)647910RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY
717381MULTIPREFLisa DebruineEuropean Commission (EC)705748RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY