Date of Thesis

5-4-2015

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Aaron Mitchel

Abstract

While both vocal and facial cues have been found to play a role in attractiveness separately, little research has examined the effect of these two cues together; yet, these cues are perceived together in real-world situations. Thus, we explored whether vocal and visual cues of attractiveness are integrated, using averageness as a manipulation of attractiveness. Averageness was manipulated by combining individual faces into composites of 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 face stimuli; the same process was completed to create average voice stimuli. As a baseline test, participants rated the attractiveness of the face composites alone, followed by voice composites alone. An averageness effect was found in ratings of face composites but no effect was found for voice composites. To test whether these cues are integrated, ratings of attractiveness were completed in two audiovisual conditions. In the audiovisual voice-attended condition, participants rated individual voice stimuli while simultaneously being presented with averaged face composites. Face composite number (2, 4, 8, 16, and 32) significantly impacted participants' ratings of individual voices. In the audiovisual face-attended condition, participants rated individual face stimuli while simultaneously being presented with averaged voice composites. Unattended voice composites had no effect on participants' ratings of individual faces. These results indicate that averageness in faces plays an integral role in the perception of attractiveness. However, the lack of an averageness effect with the voice stimuli suggests that this relationship may not be symmetrical.

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