Perceived attractiveness of Czech faces across 10 cultures: Associations with sexual shape dimorphism, averageness, fluctuating asymmetry, and eye color

Autoři: Tomáš Kočnar aff001;  S. Adil Saribay aff002;  Karel Kleisner aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Philosophy and History of Science, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic aff001;  Department of Psychology, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225549


Research on the perception of faces typically assumes that there are some universal values of attractiveness which are shared across individuals and cultures. The perception of attractiveness may, however, vary across cultures due to local differences in both facial morphology and standards of beauty. To examine cross-cultural consensus in the ratings of attractiveness, we presented a set of 120 non-manipulated photographs of Czech faces to ten samples of raters from both European (Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden, Romania, Turkey, Portugal) and non-European countries (Brazil, India, Cameroon, Namibia). We examined the relative contribution of three facial markers (sexual shape dimorphism, averageness, fluctuating asymmetry) to the perception of attractiveness as well as the possible influence of eye color, which is a locally specific trait. In general, we found that both male and female faces which were closer to the average and more feminine in shape were regarded as more attractive, while fluctuating asymmetry had no effect. Despite a high cross-cultural consensus on attractiveness standards, significant differences in the perception of attractiveness seem to be related to the level of socio-economic development (as measured by the Human Development Index, HDI). Attractiveness ratings by raters from low-HDI countries (India, Cameroon, Namibia) converged less with ratings from Czech Republic than ratings from high-HDI countries (European countries and Brazil). With respect to eye color, some local patterns emerged which we discuss as a consequence of negative frequency-dependent selection.

Klíčová slova:

Cross-cultural studies – Czech Republic – Europe – Eyes – Face – Turkey (country) – Eye color – Estonia


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