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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (1) : 14-29     DOI:
The Effects of Transformed Gender Facial Features on Face Preference of College Students: Based on the Test of Computer Graphics and Eye Movement Tracks
WEN Fang-Fang;ZUO Bin
(School of Psychology, Huazhong Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China)
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Abstract  Perceived facial attractiveness can influence people’s social interactions with one another, including mate selection, intimate relationship, hiring decision, and voting behavior. People evaluate faces using multiple trait dimensions such as attractiveness and trustworthiness both of which are affected by facial masculinity or femininity cues. However, studies manipulating the computer graphics of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness have yielded inconsistent results. Some found that feminine facial features in male faces were more attractive than masculine ones. Some others found that women prefer masculine male faces. And still others found that women preferred femininity in male faces.
The current study used the computer graphics and the eye tracker to assess the effect of the dimorphic cues on the perception of facial attractiveness among Chinese college students through two experiments. Experiment 1 assessed women’s perceptions of attractiveness and trustworthiness of men’s faces under the condition of either perceived masculinity vs. femininity or the sexual dimorphism. Results showed that, when non-face cues (e.g., hairstyle) were masked, women perceived femininity in men’s faces as more attractive and trustworthy than the masculinity. However, in the sexual dimorphism condition in which the non-face cues were not masked, women found masculinity in men’s faces more attractive and trustworthy.
Experiment 2 used the eye tracker to assess the effects of the dimorphic cues on the evaluation of facial attractiveness. Results showed that the subjects preferred the masculine male faces obtained by the sexual dimorphism and feminized female face. Eye movement tracking showed that average pupil dilation and average fixation count on a male face were significantly higher than on a female face. The first fixation time was significantly greater for the masculine faces than for the feminine ones, but the first fixation time was significantly shorter for the male faces than the female ones. The first fixation time and first fixation duration for masculine faces were both significantly longer than for feminine ones. These indicators of eye movement provide some evidence for the effect of the sexual dimorphism on the facial attractiveness.
Keywords facial attractiveness      sexual dimorphism      perceived masculinity      computer graphics      track of eye movement     
Corresponding Authors: ZUO Bin   
Issue Date: 28 January 2012
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WEN Fang-Fang,ZUO Bin. The Effects of Transformed Gender Facial Features on Face Preference of College Students: Based on the Test of Computer Graphics and Eye Movement Tracks[J]. , 2012, 44(1): 14-29.
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[1] HAN Shangfeng, LI Yue, LIU Shen, XU Qiang, TAN Qun, ZHANG Lin.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: The halo effect and generalization effect in the facial attractiveness evaluation[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(4): 363-376.
[2] WANG Yuqing; YAO Pengfei; ZHOU Guomei. The Influence of Facial Attractiveness and Personality Labels on Men and Women’s Mate Preference[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(1): 108-118.
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