Home > General, The Face > Symmetry Part 4: Unequal Asymmetries

Symmetry Part 4: Unequal Asymmetries

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

TTypically, the research on symmetry and attractiveness does not take the specific location of the asymmetry or asymmetries into account. Springer, et.al. (2007) compared attractiveness ratings of photos of 2 men and 2 women (like the one to the right) in the following conditions:

  • nevus free (birthmark, beauty mark, or blemish)
  • a digitally added single nevus at the numbered locations, and
  • two symmetric nevi at positions 5 & 6

The results indicate:

  • the blemish-free image was rated the most attractive
  • the further a single blemish was from the face’s midline, the less unattractive it was, and
  • symmetric blemishes were the least attractive

Additionally (and separately), canthal tilt was varied in two ways: toward and away from midline and unilaterally or bilaterally.

As the image shows, center of motion medial (CMM) produces a more lateral asymmetry while center of motion lateral (CML) produces a more medial asymmetry. The results indicate:

  • medial asymmetries were rated as less attractive than lateral asymmetries
  • minor asymmetric tilts were not unattractive
  • significant tilts were viewed more attractively when symmetric
  • slight upward tilts of the lateral canthus are attractive, slight downward tilts of the medial canthus are unattractive (perhaps associated with aging?)

The authors conclude that in general, attractiveness is reduced:

  • with increasing asymmetries, and
  • the closer the asymmetries are to midline

Strengths

  • nicely designed tests of the role of asymmetry’s proximity to midline

Cautions

  • Raters were stratified, but seem to have been obtained via opportunity/convenience sampling

This study, pending replication, suggests that asymmetries’ proximity to midline is a variable that can significantly influence attractiveness ratings.

 

Wayne Hooke

ResearchBlogging.orgSpringer, I., Wannicke, B., Warnke, P., Zernial, O., Wiltfang, J., Russo, P., Terheyden, H., Reinhardt, A., & Wolfart, S. (2007). Facial Attractiveness Annals of Plastic Surgery, 59 (2), 156-162 DOI: 10.1097/01.sap.0000252041.66540.ec

Advertisements
Categories: General, The Face
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: