The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty.

@article{Rhodes2006TheEP,
  title={The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty.},
  author={Gillian Rhodes},
  journal={Annual review of psychology},
  year={2006},
  volume={57},
  pages={
          199-226
        }
}
  • G. Rhodes
  • Published 2006
  • Psychology
  • Annual review of psychology
What makes a face attractive and why do we have the preferences we do? Emergence of preferences early in development and cross-cultural agreement on attractiveness challenge a long-held view that our preferences reflect arbitrary standards of beauty set by cultures. Averageness, symmetry, and sexual dimorphism are good candidates for biologically based standards of beauty. A critical review and meta-analyses indicate that all three are attractive in both male and female faces and across… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

A Review of Attractiveness Preferences in Infancy: From Faces to Objects

Despite some interpersonal variability, judgments of facial attractiveness are largely shared by most individuals, both within and between cultures. Infants are also sensitive to attractive faces

Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research

The research relating to these issues highlights flexible, sophisticated systems that support and promote adaptive responses to faces that appear to function to maximize the benefits of both the authors' mate choices and more general decisions about other types of social partners.

Facial attractiveness.

  • A. Little
  • Psychology
    Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science
  • 2014
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.

Individual Aesthetic Preferences for Faces Are Shaped Mostly by Environments, Not Genes

Cross-Cultural Variation in Mate Preferences for Averageness, Symmetry, Body Size, and Masculinity

Sexual selection has greatly influenced the evolved biology, psychology, and culture of humans and favors individuals who choose healthy and fertile mates. Physical traits that cue quality are

Human preferences for sexually dimorphic faces may be evolutionarily novel

Data on cross-cultural perceptions of facial masculinity and femininity are presented and it is found that in less developed environments, typical “Western” perceptions are attenuated or even reversed, suggesting that Western perceptions may be relatively novel.

The neurobiology and evolutionary foundation of the perception of beauty

The neurobiology and evolutionary foundations of the perception of beauty Beauty in human beings can be defined as physical attractiveness to the opposite sex. Although the perception of

A Statistical Model of Facial Attractiveness

A regression model is built that defines attractiveness as a function of a face’s position in a multidimensional face space and shows that averageness is attractive in some dimensions but not in others and resolves previous contradictory reports about the effects of sexual dimorphism on the attractiveness of male faces.

Visible skin condition and perception of human facial appearance

There is now accumulating evidence that skin pigmentation and skin surface topography cues have a significant influence on attractiveness judgements, as they seem primarily to signal aspects of age and health.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 184 REFERENCES

Evolutionary Psychology of Facial Attractiveness

The human face communicates an impressive number of visual signals. Although adults' ratings of facial attractiveness are consistent across studies, even cross-culturally, there has been considerable

Criteria of facial attractiveness in five populations

It is shown that age, average features, and (in females) feminine/neotenous features all play a role in facial attractiveness.

Attractiveness of Facial Averageness and Symmetry in Non-Western Cultures: In Search of Biologically Based Standards of Beauty

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 human preferences for facial symmetry focused on signals of developmental instability

The first detailed study of the patterns of asymmetry in human faces is provided, which suggests that people focus on aspects of facial asymmetry that may be revealing of developmental instability.

Human facial beauty

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.

Female facial beauty: The fertility hypothesis.

Prior research on facial beauty has suggested that the average female face in a population is perceived to be the most attractive face. This finding, however, is based on an image processing

Facial shape and judgements of female attractiveness

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.

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

It is shown that male preference for women with a low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is not culturally universal, as had previously been assumed.
...