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PS4029/30 Perspectives on social attributions

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  1. PS4029/30 Perspectives on social attributions Lecture 1 Feb 2005

  2. Perspectives on social attributions? Why do we ‘read’ faces the way that we do? Why are we attracted to some faces and not others? Why do we sometimes agree with others and sometimes disagree about what faces that are attractive and unattractive?

  3. OUTLINE a. using the course website b. why take this course? c. assessment d. why study attractiveness? e. attractiveness halo effects f. examples of attractive facial characteristics

  4. CONTACTING BCJ Lecturer: Ben C. Jones Office hour: TBC Email: Office: S5 (William Guild) When is a good time for office hour?

  5. A. USING THE COURSE WEBSITE Course website address is: Username & password are ‘faces’ Course outline Recommended reading (the minimum) Suggested reading Lecture summaries Lecture .ppt files & handouts ALL READING CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM THE COURSE WEBSITE

  6. A. USING THE COURSE WEBSITE The more of the recommended reading you have completed before the relevant lectures, the more you’ll get out of them Study questions for each lecture are given along with lecture summaries - these are designed to direct your thinking, reading and revision 15 sample exam questions are also given

  7. B. WHY TAKE THIS COURSE? Facial attractiveness is a topic with widespread appeal Attractiveness research is carried out within a multi-disciplinary framework This means you learn to critically evaluate diverse approaches to research

  8. B. WHY TAKE THIS COURSE? Approaches applied to attractiveness research include: Developmental Biological Comparative Cross-cultural Social Neuroimaging

  9. Developmental Babies and adults prefer the same types of faces

  10. Comparative In many ways our face preferences are similar to preferences in other species - e.g. symmetry preferences and condition dependent preferences

  11. Neuroimaging attractive faces activate brain regions associated with reward medial orbito-frontal cortex

  12. Other modalities Olfaction (pheromones) Audition (vocal traits) Pheromones and vocal characteristics also influence attraction in predictable ways

  13. C. Assessment 90 minute exam at end of term 2 from 6 questions 15 sample exam questions on course website

  14. D. Why study attractiveness? Although people claim attractiveness is not important for their partner choices….. …..facial attractiveness is the best predictor of satisfaction with a blind date [reading: Chapter 1 BCJ thesis]

  15. D. Why study attractiveness? People also prefer to: mate with employ vote for associate with attractive people [reading: Chapter 1 BCJ thesis]

  16. D. Why study attractiveness? Nurses provide more care for premature infants that they consider attractive Mothers bond more quickly and closely with attractive babies [reading: Chapter 1 BCJ thesis]

  17. D. Why study attractiveness? In summary: It is important to study attractiveness because it contributes to important social outcomes (e.g. hiring decisions, partner choices, associate choice, maternal bonding)

  18. D. Why facial attractiveness? Processing of faces develops earlier than processing of bodies Facial attractiveness more important for attractiveness of whole person than body attractiveness Areas of the brain (in visual cortex) that respond more to faces than bodies [reading: Chapter 1 BCJ thesis]

  19. E. Attractiveness halo effects This is also known as the ‘beauty is good’ stereotype Attractive people are automatically ascribed positive social traits such as trustworthiness, wealth, intelligence and positive personality traits (e.g. extraversion) Langlois et al. 2000

  20. F. ATTRACTIVE FACES Some facial traits that are generally preferred Symmetry Averageness Femininity

  21. SYMMETRY Symmetric Asymmetric Symmetric faces are more attractive than asymmetric faces (Little & Jones, 2003)

  22. FEMININITY For both male and female faces, increasing feminine aspects of the face shape (left) makes the face more attractive By contrast, increasing masculinity (right) decreases attractiveness [Perrett et al., 1998] feminine masculine

  23. NEXT WEEK Evidence for universal preferences Cross-cultural studies & Developmental studies of face preferences