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Title: Non-physical components of perceived facial attractiveness
Author: Rogers, Rachel
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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The idea that a not-so-attractive person, is perceived as increasingly attractive the more one gets to know them, is a commonly reported experience, which is often attributed to familiarity. Features initially judged as unattractive, may later be judged as cute or unique. However, this explanation cannot account for why a person may be perceived as less attractive as one gets to know them. The first aim of the present research was to investigate whether liking for the target is the critical mediating factor in the relationship between knowing a person's non-physical characteristics, and appraisals of their facial attractiveness. This hypothesis is confirmed in Chapter 2. The second aim of this research was to explore the social-cognitive mechanisms underlying this effect. Chapter 2 found that personality infonnation, with a strong association to liking, cues expectations regarding the physical attractiveness of the target, which predict actual attractiveness ratings. Chapter 3 examined whether the effects are specific to the faces to which the personality information referred, and found that the effect carried-over to influence evaluations of a subsequently presented novel face, but that the effect was not mediated by whether the novel face physically resembled the target face, or was a friend of the target person. Chapter 4 found that affective priming, with words unrelated to personality characteristics, affects evaluations of facial attractiveness in much the same way. However, nonaffective priming does not influence ratings of attractiveness and relevant facial characteristics in the same way as affective priming does. Chapter 5 found that negative stimuli had a larger impact on affect scores and attractiveness judgements than positive stimuli. Chapter 6 presents a social-cognitive model of the effect of non-physical factors which influence how a face is processed to fonn attractiveness judgements, which brings together the different findings of the present research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available