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Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research

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FaceResearch.org allows everyone to participate in short online psychology experiments looking at the traits people find attractive in faces and voices. FaceResearch.org is run by the researchers Lisa DeBruine and Ben Jones, incharged of the Face Research Lab at the University of Glasgow Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology.

Using a modern version of the technique that Sir Francis Galton pioneered in the 1800′s, multiple images of faces are aligned and composited together to form the final result.

Face perception is fundamental to human social interaction. Many aspects of information are available from faces and the processes and mechanisms involved in extracting this information are complex. The importance of faces has long been recognised by scientists and has led to many important advances in understanding face perception in recent years. 

The study "Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research" in this theme issue each review a particular arena of interest in face perception dealing with: the social aspects of face perception (attraction, recognition and emotion), the neural mechanisms underlying face perception (using brain scanning, patient data, directly stimulating the brain, adaptation, and single cell recording), and comparative aspects of face perception (comparing adult human abilities to those of chimpanzees and children).

Despite research on social consequences, exactly what it is that makes a face beautiful remains poorly defined. One of the major deterrents in determining the features of an attractive face lies in the widespread belief that standards of attractiveness are learned gradually through exposure to culturally presented ideals.

There is already controversy surrounding the results of this study. Some people feel that the average is “too attractive.” However, part of this is explained by the process. Instead of having a lot of blurry images with undefined features, this method averages the shape of the features before blending the images together. The study also does not reveal how the participants were selected or how large the sample size actually is.

No conclusive evidence, however, some of the results show the being more or less attractive has important social consequences and people do generally agree on who is and

who is not attractive

Of interest

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