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Implicit responses in the judgment of attractiveness in faces with differing levels of makeup

Comfort, W. E., de Andrade, B. N., Wingenbach, T. S. H. ORCID:, Causeur, D. and Boggio, P. S. (2023) Implicit responses in the judgment of attractiveness in faces with differing levels of makeup. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 17 (1). pp. 29-42. ISSN 1931-3896

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/aca0000408


Makeup is a form of body art which has been used for more than 7,000 years and is present in the great majority of human cultures, often used to enhance facial attractiveness and to accentuate features that represent femininity. This study examines how cumulative levels of facial makeup influenced approach and avoidance tendencies and on facial muscle responses associated with emotional response obtained through facial electromyography (EMG) in a passive viewing task. Experiment 1 used the joystick variant of the approach-avoidance task, where 30 subjects categorized female faces by visual orientation (portrait/landscape) in seven cumulatively added makeup levels. In Experiment 2, facial EMG was recorded from 40 subjects in the passive viewing of the same images. The present study shows that makeup application modulates implicit responses and reveals two distinct implicit preferences, behavioral and affective, with a male behavioral preference for heavy eye cosmetics, a female behavioral preference for light makeup, and an overall affective preference in both men and women for makeup accentuating visual contrast in the eye and mouth regions. These results are consistent with the conception that perceptual cues underlying cosmetic enhancement are key determinants in aesthetic facial preferences.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:114275
Publisher:American Psychological Association (APA)


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