روش فرآیند تصویری: یک روش جدید برای بررسی جذابیت فیزیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|35759||1998||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 19, Issue 2, March 1998, Pages 111–123
The visual process method is a computer-aided procedure that allows for the recording of the viewing sequence, viewing time, and amount of information used with respect to various face and body parts in judgments of physical attractiveness. A study with 26 male and 44 female participants demonstrated the reliability and validity of the data gathered with this method. In agreement with evolutionary psychology, features associated with the mate value of the individual—youthfulness, health, sexual maturity for female targets, and status and dominance for male targets—were looked at sooner and more often.
Man has tried for centuries to discover the secret of beauty and to identify the features responsible for physical attractiveness (mostly of the face). In classical times, attempts were made to define beauty with geometric regularity such as the golden section, or with the equal division of the face based on the magic number seven (Cook and McHenry 1978; Hatfield and Sprecher 1986; Liggett 1974). Others, such as Aristotle and later Galton 1878 and Treu 1914, viewed the golden mean—a kind of average—as a guarantee for beauty. For a long time, the attempts to objectively determine the basis of physical attractiveness went without success, and the hope of finding such a basis plunged when a study by Ford and Beach 1951 examining more than 200 technologically primitive societies failed to find any universal standard of beauty. Given such a result, sayings such as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” seem all the more justified. Berscheid and Walster [Hatfield] (1974: 178), who show in an enlightening overview the countless consequences of physical attractiveness, also are forced to pass on the question of the nature of beauty and state, “it is the total Gestalt which is important.” It is only in the last few years that researchers from a sociobiological or evolutionary psychological background have had success in coming closer to the material basis of physical attractiveness. According to them (Barber 1995; Buss 1994; Cunningham 1986; Cunningham et al. 1990), beautiful people are those who signal they have a high mate value. In women, this primarily means youthfulness, health, and sexual maturity. The physical attractiveness of a woman’s face thus depends on features that indicate her youthfulness (for example, in proportion to her face, large, widely spaced eyes; Jones 1995), her sexual maturity (e.g., proportionally high and narrow cheek bones), and her health (e.g., smooth, clear skin; Cunningham 1986). A male’s attractiveness, on the other hand, depends on features that indicate that he is able and willing to provide for his offspring and that he is a winner in intrasexual competition. Men who signal their high status, show their dominance (for example, with a strong chin), and, at the same time, appear to be friendly are judged as more attractive than men who do not exhibit these and similar features (Cunningham et al. 1990). For judgments of physical attractiveness of a person’s body shape, the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), an indicator of the distribution of body fat, has seemed to be of primary importance (Singh 1993Singh 1995). Women who come close to a WHR of 0.7 are deemed more attractive than those with a higher WHR. Male bodies with a WHR of 0.9 are preferred over those with other ratios. The importance of the WHR for physical attractiveness also can be explained by evolutionary principles. Women with a WHR of 0.7 signal higher mate value; they have a higher level of circulating estrogen, become pregnant more easily than women with a higher WHR, and are in many aspects healthier than other women (for a detailed discussion of the correlates of female WHR seeSingh 1993). Male body fat distribution also is regulated by sex hormones (in this case, circulating testosterone), and men whose WHR is between 0.8 and 0.9 have better health than those with lower or higher WHRs (for a discussion of male WHR seeSingh 1995). Studies in which the identification of the role of certain features or feature combinations is the goal usually examined objectively measurable stimulus qualities as predictors of physical attractiveness in a multiple regression. This allows a mathematical calculation of the relative importance of the selected parameters. Alternatively, certain features will be experimentally manipulated so that the consequences of these changes can be analyzed. For example, Cunningham 1986 measured features of youthfulness, sexual maturity, and expressiveness in beauty queens and calculated the multiple correlations with physical attractiveness as the criterion. Features from all three categories contributed to attractiveness ratings. Singh 1993Singh 1995 experimentally manipulated body shape and studied the effect of this manipulation on the judgments of physical attractiveness. Whether people actively look for features that inform them of the mate value of men and women when judging the physical attractiveness of strangers remains an open question. Evolutionarily speaking, we can expect that face and body features that signal mate value not only influence the amount of perceived attractiveness, but also will draw more attention and will be processed more quickly than other face and body parts. The research reported here was aimed at this problem and was designed to answer the following questions: (1) Which information concerning faces and bodies do people require in making physical attractiveness judgments?; (2) How are face and body parts related to physical attractiveness?; (3) Do male and female observers use different strategies in searching for the information required for physical attractiveness judgments?; and (4) Do male and female targets elicit different search strategies?. According to evolutionary psychology, we should expect sex differences, namely, that male and female targets elicit different search strategies. With female targets, the focus should be on facial features that indicate youthfulness and sexual maturity. These are the eyes, the mouth, the chin, and the cheeks. A rather small chin (child-like feature), narrow cheeks (mature adult facial feature), and full lips (indicator of sexual maturity) all can give this kind of information. As for the body, more information should be drawn from the waist and hips than from other body parts. Male targets should direct perceivers’ attention to features signaling power, dominance, or status. According to the multiple motive hypothesis (Cunningham et al. 1990), the female’s search for the proper mate is characterized by a conflict. On the one hand, she wants a strong, dominant partner with the resources to compete successfully against other males. On the other hand, she does not just want a partner as a protector and provider, but someone who will satisfy her socioemotional needs as well. “A man who looks too mature and too powerful, then, may not arouse the woman’s warm caregiving feelings and may not elicit as much attraction as a man who can stimulate nurturant responses” (Cunningham et al. 1990: 62). This means that, in addition to features indicating dominance and status, women also should look for neonate features, such as relatively large eyes and a small nose, in men. Males, however, generally do not want to mate with males. They see other males as competitors for resources and women. Therefore, they should not look for neonate features in other men, but rather focus on features of status and dominance. The literature is full of indications that sex differences exist between perceivers making physical attactiveness judgments. Women not only give lower judgment scores than men (Gladue and Delaney 1990; Reis et al. 1980), but also differ from men in the structure of their perceptual categories for physical attractiveness. Ashmore et al. 1996 had test persons sort photographs of attractive females into three categories that were to form the basis for a multidimensional scaling. Three dimensions adequately represented the structure of the data, but they were different for male and female perceivers. Women divided the female targets into the categories cute/natural, trendy, and sexy, whereas men used the dimensions girl-next-door, sexually attractive, and elegant/not intelligent. Women and men also differ in their preferences regarding mens’ body shapes. Men regard a muscular/bulk type as more attractive, whereas women prefer a leaner type (Fallon and Rozin 1985; Salusso-Deonier et al. 1993). Questions about which face and body parts men and women pay most attention to, how these parts are related to physical attractiveness ratings and what kinds of strategies are used to obtain information about physical attractiveness cannot be answered with the methods normally used in this field. A multiple regression analysis in which certain objectively measurable stimulus features are correlated with physical attractiveness ratings does not tell us whether information about certain body parts is processed more quickly than information from other parts, nor does it allow us to conclude that people actively prefer certain kinds of information over other kinds. Analyzing eye movement with the help of an eye mark recorder also is of no use in this context. While it can tell us which face and body parts are viewed in which order and for how long, it still is not possible to judge the importance of these individual parts for physical attractiveness ratings since the whole process takes only about 100 msec (Locher et al. 1993), and all information is available in the brain more or less simultaneously with its presentation. In light of this, I developed an alternative method, the visual process method which is capable of answering these and similar questions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The visual process method is a reliable means of gathering data in the context of studying physical attractiveness judgments. It allows the ascertainment of the importance of specific face and body parts in making this decision and provides information on processing speed. The results gained with this method are consistent with evolutionary psychological views on the role of selected face and body parts for physical attractiveness judgments. Features associated with the mate value of the individual were looked at sooner and more often. For female targets, these features were those that indicated her youthfulness, sexual maturity, and fertility. The results for male targets were not quite as obvious, which may have to do with the fact that male physical attractiveness is less important than female attractivenes for the choice of a mate (Buss 1989), and that the mate value of a man (e.g., status and dominance) is determined less easily from his appearance than a woman’s value is from hers. Also explainable in evolutionary framework is that men’s processing speeds regarding female targets were exceptionally fast. One can speculate that evolution favored the development of such a specific information processing system. The results clearly show that facial attractiveness plays a much larger role than the attractiveness of the body. It should not be surprising that despite the fact that many studies have shown the importance of the WHR ratio (Singh 1993Singh 1995), the importance of these body parts in our study remains small because WHR is especially useful at a distance when details of a face are not available. All in all, the agreement of the results with the predictions made by current theories is not only an indicator of the reliability but also of the validity of the visual process method. I hope other attraction researchers also will use this method in the future.