Measuring the physical in physical attractiveness: Quasi-experiments on the sociobiology of female facial beauty

Michael R. Cunningham
1986 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
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 obtained of the relative size of 24 facial features in an international sample of photographs of 50 females. Male subjects provided ratings of the attractiveness of each of the females. Positively correlated with attractiveness ratings were the neonate features of large eyes, small nose, and small chin;
more » ... he maturity features of prominent cheekbones and narrow cheeks; and the expressive features of high eyebrows, large pupils, and large smile. A second study asked males to rate the personal characteristics of 16 previously measured females. The males were also asked to indicate the females for whom they would be most inclined to perform altruistic behaviors, and select for dating, sexual behavior, and childrearing. The second study replicated the correlations of feature measurements with attractiveness. Facial features also predicted personality attributions, altruistic inclinations, and reproductive interest. Sociobiological interpretations are discussed.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.50.5.925 fatcat:6osupu5ddrd65jwddnbd4lbx6q