Facial symmetry and the perception of beauty

@article{Rhodes1998FacialSA,
  title={Facial symmetry and the perception of beauty},
  author={Gillian Rhodes and Fiona Proffitt and Jonathon M. Grady and Alex Sumich},
  journal={Psychonomic Bulletin \& Review},
  year={1998},
  volume={5},
  pages={659-669}
}
Evolutionary, as well as cultural, pressures may contribute to our perceptions of facial attractiveness. Biologists predict that facial symmetry should be attractive, because it may signal mate quality. We tested the prediction that facial symmetry is attractive by manipulating the symmetry of individual faces and observing the effect on attractiveness, and by examining whether natural variations in symmetry (between faces) correlated with perceived attractiveness. Attractiveness increased when… 
Facial attractiveness, symmetry and cues of good genes
TLDR
Using photographs of men's faces, a relationship between women's attractiveness ratings of these faces and symmetry is found, but the subjects could not rate facial symmetry accurately, suggesting that attractive features other than symmetry can be used to assess phenotypic condition.
The relationship between shape symmetry and perceived skin condition in male facial attractiveness
Studies have shown that male faces high in symmetry are judged more attractive than faces low in symmetry even in images where visual cues to facial symmetry are reduced. These findings suggest that
Appearance of symmetry, beauty, and health in human faces
Symmetry, sexual dimorphism in facial proportions and male facial attractiveness
TLDR
Here, real and computer graphic male faces are used in order to demonstrate that symmetric faces are more attractive, but not reliably more masculine than less symmetry faces and that asymmetric faces possess characteristics that are attractive independent of symmetry, but that these characteristics remain at present undefined.
Attractiveness of Facial Averageness and Symmetry in Non-Western Cultures: In Search of Biologically Based Standards of Beauty
TLDR
These findings show that preferences for facial averageness and symmetry are not restricted to Western cultures, consistent with the view that they are biologically based.
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
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.
Averageness or symmetry: which is more important for facial attractiveness?
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 52 REFERENCES
Asymmetry and human facial attractiveness: symmetry may not always be beautiful
  • J. Swaddle, I. Cuthill
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1995
TLDR
This experiment suggests fluctuating asymmetry is relatively unimportant compared with directional asymmetry, and manipulations that alter asymmetry within a face without altering the mean size of facial features render naturally asymmetric features symmetrical.
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 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.
Human facial beauty
TLDR
The hypothesis that both adults and children have a species-typical adaptation to the problem of identifying and favoring healthy individuals and avoiding parasite-susceptible individuals is proposed, and it is proposed that this adaptation guides human decisions about nepotism and reciprocity in relation to physical attractiveness.
Facial Aesthetics: Babies Prefer Attractiveness to Symmetry
TLDR
Infants as young as 4 months showed similarity with adults in the ‘aesthetic perception’ of attractiveness and this preference was not based on the vertical symmetry of the face.
Facial asymmetry and attractiveness judgment in developmental perspective.
  • R. Kowner
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance
  • 1996
TLDR
It is suggested that the low degree of facial asymmetry found in normal people does not affect attractiveness ratings (except for old age), probably because observers are not tuned to perceive it.
Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness and sexual selection: the role of symmetry and averageness.
TLDR
This is the first study to show that facial symmetry has a positive influence on facial attractiveness ratings, with the exception of the hypothesized effects of averageness of female and male faces on attractiveness ratings.
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 &
Facial asymmetry as an indicator of psychological, emotional, and physiological distress.
TLDR
The authors assess the relationship between facial FA and health in 2 samples of undergraduates and suggest that facial FA may signal psychological, emotional, and physiological distress.
Criteria of facial attractiveness in five populations
TLDR
It is shown that age, average features, and (in females) feminine/neotenous features all play a role in facial attractiveness.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...