Is This the Most Beautiful Face in the World?

Can we define beauty?
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BrainCraft is written and hosted by Vanessa Hill for PBS Digital Studios. Talking psychology, neuroscience & why we act the way we do.
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Director of photography: Jake Roper (http://www.youtube.com/vsauce3)

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More BrainCraft!
Four Weird Audio Illusions! https://youtu.be/kbzL9PxtFf0
Are You Paying Attention? https://youtu.be/t4svQ-CGpII

Face images via faceresearch.org, which is an awesome site to check out and average some faces.


Francis Galton
Benson’ll, P. J., & Perrett, D. I. (1993). Extracting prototypical facial images from exemplars. Perception, 22, 257-262. http://www.perceptionweb.com/fulltext_temp/0/p220257.pdf

J. T. Stoddard
Stoddard, J. T. (1886). Science, 8, 89-91. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/ns-8/182/89.2.extract

Facial beauty
Rhodes, G. (2006). The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 57, 199-226. http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~schaller/Psyc591Readings/Rhodes2006.pdf

The beauty of averageness
Langlois, J. H., & Roggman, L. A. (1990). Attractive faces are only average. Psychological science, 1(2), 115-121. https://labs.la.utexas.edu/langloislab/files/2015/04/Langlois.PS_.1990.pdf

Langlois, J. H., Roggman, L. A., & Musselman, L. (1994). What is average and what is not average about attractive faces?. Psychological science, 5(4), 214-220. https://labs.la.utexas.edu/langloislab/files/2015/04/Langlois.PS_.1994.pdf

Rubenstein, A. J., Langlois, J. H., & Roggman, L. A. (2002). What makes a face attractive and why: The role of averageness in defining facial beauty. https://labs.la.utexas.edu/langloislab/files/2015/04/attractiveness.pdf

More on Langlois social development lab: https://labs.la.utexas.edu/langloislab/face-perception/the-beauty-of-averageness/

Rubenstein, A. J., Kalakanis, L., & Langlois, J. H. (1999). Infant preferences for attractive faces: a cognitive explanation. Developmental psychology, 35(3), 848. [$] http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/35/3/848/

Rhodes, G., Proffitt, F., Grady, J. M., & Sumich, A. (1998). Facial symmetry and the perception of beauty. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5(4), 659-669. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alexander_Sumich/publication/225775645_Facial_symmetry_and_the_perception_of_beauty/links/54ad87860cf2828b29fcaba3.pdf

Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., Penton-Voak, I. S., Tiddeman, B. P., Burt, D. M., & Perrett, D. I. (2001). Facial symmetry and judgements of apparent health: support for a “good genes” explanation of the attractiveness–symmetry relationship. Evolution and Human Behavior, 22(6), 417-429. http://www.alittlelab.stir.ac.uk/littlelab/pubs/Jones_01_perception_symandhealth_EHB.pdf

Waist to hip ratio
Singh, D., Dixson, B. J., Jessop, T. S., Morgan, B., & Dixson, A. F. (2010). Cross-cultural consensus for waist–hip ratio and women’s attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(3), 176-181. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alan_Dixson/publication/247233748_Cross-cultural_consensus_for_waisthip_ratio_and_women‘s_attractiveness/links/54dea7980cf2510fcee464fd.pdf

Beard science
Dixson, B. J., & Brooks, R. C. (2013). The role of facial hair in women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(3), 236-241. http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(13)00022-6/abstract

Wedekind, C., Seebeck, T., Bettens, F., & Paepke, A. J. (1995). MHC-dependent mate preferences in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 260(1359), 245-249. http://www.iee.unibe.ch/unibe/philnat/biology/zoologie/content/e7493/e7854/e8920/e681480/Wedekindetal1995Mhc-dependentmatepreferencesinhumans.pdf

Winternitz, J. C., Abbate, J. L., Karki, S., Bhatta, D. N., Aryal, U. R., Nakamura, T., … & Cheng, J. Q. (2015). Examining the evidence for major histocompatibility complex-dependent mate selection in humans and nonhuman primates. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 8, 81-89. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jessica_Abbate/publication/276353937_Examining_the_evidence_for_major_histocompatibility_complex-dependent_mate_selection_in_humans_and_nonhuman_primates/links/5557841008ae6943a874b12a.pdf

Survival of the prettiest
Etcoff, N. (2011). Survival of the prettiest: The science of beauty. Anchor. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385479425



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