Award Date

5-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Murray Millar, Chair

Second Committee Member

Colleen Parks

Third Committee Member

Wayne Weiten

Graduate Faculty Representative

Kathleen Ja Sook Bergquist

Number of Pages

115

Abstract

The answer to what makes a face attractive has been debated for generations and studied in different disciplines. The current study investigated African American and Caucasian males' evaluation (attraction) to racialized female faces. Faces varied from 100% African American to 100% Caucasian (and included variations that were 25% of either group, or 50% of both groups). Twenty African American and 30 Caucasian men each viewed ten faces, and evaluated them in terms of their appearance and the likelihood that the men would interact with (befriend, date, or marry) the person pictured. Findings revealed that African American men found the 100% African American face attractive (and more positive in other respects), with decreasing evaluations for the 75%, 50% and 25% African American faces. African American men evaluated the 100% Caucasian face more positively than the mixed race faces. White men, in contrast, viewed the 100% African American face as least attractive (and least favorable in other respects), and the Caucasian face most attractive (and favorable). Findings were discussed in terms of the significance for stereotyping, attractiveness, race relations, and future research.

Keywords

Aesthetics – Psychological aspects; African American attraction; African American men; Face perception; Facial attraction; Facial averaging; Female facial attraction; Physical attraction; Race discrimination – Psychological aspects; Men; White

Disciplines

Cognition and Perception | Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology

Language

English


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