Article Commentary: Averaged Faces Are Attractive, but Very Attractive Faces Are Not Average

@article{Alley1991ArticleCA,
  title={Article Commentary: Averaged Faces Are Attractive, but Very Attractive Faces Are Not Average},
  author={Thomas R. Alley and Michael R. Cunningham},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  year={1991},
  volume={2},
  pages={123 - 125}
}
In a recent article, Langlois and Roggman (1990) argue that “attractive faces are only average” and support this theory with composite faces produced by digitized image processing. While we agree with their premise that average(d) faces should be seen as attractive, we believe there are good reasons to expect very attractive faces to be atypical in some ways. Their paper provides evidence that averaged faces are relatively attractive, but other evidence convinces us that facial attractiveness… 
Beauty is in the ease of the beholding: A neurophysiological test of the averageness theory of facial attractiveness
TLDR
Novel evidence is provided that faces are perceived as being attractive when they approximate a facial configuration close to the population average, and it is suggested that processing fluency underlies preferences for attractive faces.
Facial shape and judgements of female attractiveness
TLDR
The finding that highly attractive facial configurations are not average shows that preferences could exert a directional selection pressure on the evolution of human face shape.
Averageness, Exaggeration, and Facial Attractiveness
Langlois and her colleagues reported in this journal that composite faces are more attractive than the component faces used to create them, and conjectured that averageness is attractive (Langlois &
It’s not just average faces that are attractive: Computer-manipulated averageness makes birds, fish, and automobiles attractive
TLDR
The results suggest that at least two mechanisms contribute to the attractiveness of average exemplars: a general preference for familiar stimuli, which contributes to the appeal of averageness in all three categories, and a preference for features signaling genetic quality in living organisms, including conspecifics.
The role of symmetry in attraction to average faces
TLDR
It is demonstrated that increasing averageness of 2-D face shape independently of symmetry is sufficient to increase attractiveness, indicating that preferences for symmetry cannot solely explain the attractiveness of average faces.
Face inversion increases attractiveness.
Fitting the mind to the World
TLDR
The results suggest that perceptual adaptation can rapidly recalibrate people's preferences to fit the faces they see, and suggest that average faces are attractive because of their central location in a distribution of faces (i.e., prototypicality), rather than because of any intrinsic appeal of particular physical characteristics.
What Is Average and What Is Not Average About Attractive Faces?
We reported in this journal (Langlois & Roggman, 1990) findings showing that attractive faces are those that represent the mathematical average of faces in a population These findings were intriguing
Are Average Facial Configurations Attractive Only Because of Their Symmetry?
Several commentators have suggested that the attractiveness of average facial configurations could be due solely to associated changes in symmetry. If this symmetry hypothesis is correct, then
Facial attractiveness.
  • A. Little
  • Psychology
    Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science
  • 2014
TLDR
Overall, facial attractiveness is complex, both in the number of traits that determine attraction and in the large number of factors that can alter attraction to particular faces.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 18 REFERENCES
Attractive Faces Are Only Average
Scientists and philosophers have searched for centuries for a parsimonious answer to the question of what constitutes beauty. We approached this problem from both an evolutionary and
Perceiving character in faces: the impact of age-related craniofacial changes on social perception.
TLDR
It is hypothesized that adults with immature facial qualities are perceived to have childlike psychological attributes and the research reviewed provides strong support for this prediction.
What do women want? Facialmetric assessment of multiple motives in the perception of male facial physical attractiveness.
TLDR
Three quasi-experiments demonstrated that men who possessed the neotenous features of large eyes, the mature features of prominent cheekbones and a large chin, the expressive feature of a big smile, and high-status clothing were seen as more attractive than other men.
Prototype formation of faces: A case of pseudo-memory
A series of Identikit faces were composed in which the features of hair, eyes, nose plus chin, and mouth were varied systematically. These faces were shown to subjects who later were asked to
Measuring the physical in physical attractiveness: quasi-experiments on the sociobiology of female facial beauty
Two quasi-experiments investigated the relation between specific adult female facial features and the attraction, attribution, and altruistic responses of adult males. Precise measurements were
Attractiveness of Facial Profiles Is a Function of Distance From Archetype
The term archetype is used here to refer to a facial structure defined by certain geometric relationships that occur as a result of normal growth and that guarantee efficient mastication. Two
Dominance and heterosexual attraction
Four experiments examined the relation between behavioral expressions of dominance and the heterosexual attractiveness of males and females. Predictions concerning the relation between dominance and
Human rape: An evolutionary analysis
Gender and the physiognomy of dominance and attractiveness.
Cent quarante cinq hommes et cent cinquante quatre femmes sont invites a porter des jugements relatifs: 1) au caractere de domination/soumission sociale; 2) a l'attirance physique de photographies de
...
...