“This presentation contains copyrighted material under the educational fair use exemption to the U.S. copyright law” Langlois (1991) Study on Attractiveness AICE AS Level Psychology Lecture 1 Facial Diversity and Infant Preferences for Attractive Faces Langlois, J. H., Ritter, J. M., Roggman, L. A., & Vaughn, L. S. (1991). I. Attractiveness Nature Vs. Nurture A. Are our preferences due to evolutionary programming (genetic)? • 1. Study after study reveals that we have a preference for symmetrical faces. • 2. The implication is that faces that are not symmetrical may reflect a mutated/bad gene .. “Beautiful faces and bodies worldwide are generally ones that look youthful, healthy, symmetrical, "average" in the sense that we prefer features– noses, legs, physiques– that are neither too large nor too small” David G. Myers in Psychology Attractiveness Nature These images were created by morphing together the features of many women to come up with the "average" face. Attractiveness Nurture? B. Or are our preferences for attractiveness culturally transmitted? • 1. Some cultures prefer lengthened necks, bound feet and painted skin II. Theoretical Background A. Previous studies • 1. Previous studies by Langlois and • others indicated that babies had a behavioral and visual preference for attractive FEMALE faces 2. Other studies (Samuels and Ewy) found the same for male faces • 3. These studies refuted the generally • held belief that the concept of attractiveness is transmitted over time by culture 4. Previous studies had not considered attractiveness across gender and race. II. Study 1: Aim A. To replicate their previous results with adult female facial stimuli B. To extend the results to male facial stimuli C. To investigate whether the manner in which male and female faces are presented influences infant preferences II. Study 1: Sample A. 60-6 month old infants • 1. Began with 110 infants. • 2. Several were rejected for various reasons including fussiness, computer error, experimenter error and because the mother’s saw the slides. • 3. Of the 60 final participants a. 53 of them were Caucasian, 5 Hispanic, 1 Black and 1 Asian b. All were tested with in 3 weeks of turning 6 months. c. 35 male 25 female d. All from middle class homes e. All were children at the Children’s Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin Cue 1: What type of sample is this? Cue 2: List two strengths and two weaknesses of this type of sample. “This presentation contains copyrighted material under the educational fair use exemption to the U.S. copyright law” Langlois (1991) Study on Attractiveness AICE AS Level Psychology Lecture 2 III. Study 1: Method A. This was a laboratory experiment • 1. Each infant saw color slides of 16 adult • Caucasian women & 16 Caucasian adult men 2. Half of the slides of each sex depicted attractive faces, the other half unattractive faces III. Study 1: Method • 3. Operational definition of attractive: The slides’ faces were rated for attractiveness by at least 40 undergraduate men & women using a 5-point Likert-type scale (rating scale) • 4.Final faces selected: Facial expression, hair length, hair color were equally distributed across attractiveness conditions All male faces clean-shaven Clothing cues masked Faces were posed with neutral expressions III. Study 1: Method B. Procedures • 1. Standard visual preference technique • 2. Infant seated on parent's lap; parent wore • • occluded glasses. 3. A light and a buzzing noise 4. A trial began when the infant first looked at one of the slides When the infant looked at the center of the screen, the next pair of slides was displayed. Each trial lasted for 10 s. Screen brightness consistent throughout III. Study 1: Method • 5. Presentation Order The stimuli were presented in two sets of 16 slides Each set divided into 8 trial blocks of 2 slides each Control for infant side biases Slides paired so that infants viewed only pairs of women or pairs of men Alternating condition, the infants observed alternating pairs of males and females. Grouped condition, infants saw all the women's slides together & all the men's slides together Order of set presentation, order of slide pair presentation within sets (within the constraints of the set), & order of slide pairing randomized across subjects so that a particular slide of an attractive face could be paired with any slide of an unattractive face of the same sex III. Study 1: Method 6. Infants given 5-10-min break after 8 trials to lessen fatigue C. Data Collection 1. Direction & duration of looks recorded on the keyboard of a laboratory computer that functioned as an event recorder III. Study 1: Method • 2. Using the televised image of the infant to observe visual fixation ensured that the experimenter could not see the displayed slides & was therefore blind to the attractiveness level of the slides the infant was observing • 3. Reliability of the visual-fixation scoring obtained by having each experimenter score randomly selected videotaped sessions periodically throughout data collection III. Study 1: Method D. IV & DV • 1. IV = Attractiveness score of the face A second comparison was made based on the attractiveness of the infant’s mother – but this was not found to be a significant factor • 2. DV Length of gaze Measured by raters viewing video tapes of the infants. Researchers could not see the attractiveness of the face being gazed at to avoid bias Each infant measured by multiple researchers so that inter-rater reliability could be established. IV. Study 1: Results A. Infants looked longer at the attractive faces than the unattractive faces B. Infant preferences for attractive faces were evident for both adult male & adult female faces C. Other factors examined • 1. Condition of presentation was not significant • 2. Boys looked longer at male faces • 3. Girls also preferred same sex faces but • the finding was not statistically significant 4. Mother’s attractiveness did not make a difference Cue3: Why did they institute these controls? Cue 4: Why did the parents wear glasses that blocked their vision of the stimuli? Cue 5: Why test for the impact of mother’s attractiveness? “This presentation contains copyrighted material under the educational fair use exemption to the U.S. copyright law” Langlois (1991) Study on Attractiveness AICE AS Level Psychology Lecture 3 V. Study 2: Aim A. To extend the findings to non-white faces • 1. Infants were shown faces of Black adult women. The faces were rated for attractiveness by both Black and Caucasian adult judges. VI. Study 2 – Sample/Methods A. Sample • 1. Began with 43 infants but 2 were • excluded for fussiness and 1 for equipment failure 2. 40-6 month old infants a. 15 boys 25 girls b. 36 White, 2 Hispanic, 2 Black B. Presentation • 1. Black adult female faces • 2. Rest of procedure same as study 1 VII. Study 2: Results A. Infants looked longer at the attractive faces than the unattractive faces B. Again mother’s attractiveness did not make a difference VIII. Study 3 – Aim/Sample/Methods A. Aim - To extend the findings to infant faces B. Sample • 1. 39-6 month old infants a. (37 white, 2 Hispanic) b. 19 boys 20 girls VIII. Study 3 – Aim/Sample/Methods 2. Study began with 52 participants with several excluded for various reasons C. Methods • 1. 3 month old baby faces rated for • attractiveness as before 2. Rest of procedure as in study 1 IX. Study 3: Results Infants looked longer at the attractive faces than the unattractive faces X. Explanation and Discussion A. Why did the findings contradict what most thought about cultural transmission of standards of beauty? Perhaps “ethnically diverse faces possess both distinct and similar, perhaps even universal, structural features.” X. Explanation and Discussion B. Maybe beauty is (in some part) nature NOT nurture C. Prototypical faces • 1. It would seem beautiful faces are prototypical: an original form serving as a basis or standard for other forms • 2. Why might prototypical faces be evolutionarily adaptive? Individuals closer to the mean might be less likely to have genetic mutations? • 3. An average face has mathematically • • average trait values for a population 4. Faces that are high in averageness are low in distinctiveness and are therefore prototypical 5.Several theorists have proposed that average traits reflect developmental stability XI. Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths A. • 1. Generalization: a. tested on male faces b. tested on different races c. tested on different ages (babies faces presented.) • 2. Lab Experiment highly controlled: a. parent wore glasses, b. infants given breaks c. inter-rater reliability d. Raters could not see faces e. Made infants focus prior to presenting images f. Attractive/unattractive randomized g. Attractive/unattractive presented on different sides B. Weaknesses • 1. Lacks ecological validity: real life • situation 2. Ethnocentric bias: too many white babies, only black women XII. Issues & Debates A. Nature v. Nurture • 1. Clearly attempts to assess the role of • nature vs. nurture 2. Used babies so they could narrow focus on nature B. Ethics: • 1. Generally good Mothers were there with children Informed consent RTW babies who were fussy were removed from study to alleviate stress care in taking care of babies (parental aspect) Cue 6: What type of study was this? Cue 7: What are 2 strengths and weaknesses of this method? Cue 8: What type of design? Strengths and weaknesses of the design? Cue 9: Does this study support nature or nurture Cue 10: How is this an example of the developmental perspective Cue 11: Is this study useful? Why or why not? Cue 12: To what extent do you think this study is ethical? Explain your answer.