Does inversion reduce sensitivity to cues of facial attractiveness?

Danielle Sulikowski, Darren Burke, Kristy Herring

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


People are highly sensitive to configural variation in faces. This sensitivity allows for discrimination between different identities and detection of facial expressions and is reduced when faces are inverted. The extent to which configural sensitivity facilitates judgements of facial attractiveness is not well understood, but is the focus of the current study. Across two experiments, we manipulated several featural and configural cues to attractiveness (including pupil size, skin tone, lip fullness, symmetry, and sexual dimorphism) of male and female faces and asked participants to make judgements of attractiveness of these faces when presented upright as well as inverted. Our data suggest that reduced sensitivity to configural cues in inverted faces does hinder people's ability to make appropriate attractiveness judgements. This confirms mate-choice judgements as a potential selection pressure in the evolution of hyper-sensitivity to facial configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAustralasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC) - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 03 Apr 201306 Apr 2013


ConferenceAustralasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC)


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