Sensual expressions on faces
Number of pages
SourcePerception, 38, ECVP 2009, (2009), pp. S82
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
SW OZ BSI OGG
iss. ECVP 2009
SubjectDevelopmental Psychopathology; Learning and Plasticity
We explored the possibility that an emotional facial expression exists specifically for signalling sexual interest. We selected photographs of twenty-eight fashion models (male and female) with large portfolios (range 81 - 1593), choosing only face photographs in which the model was looking into the camera. Twelve face photographs were selected of each of the models, one with a neutral facial expression, one with a happy expression, one which we thought bore a more or less sensual expression and nine randomly chosen ones. The randomly selected photographs were usually attractive and often sensual-looking as well. The photographs were presented to young adults (N=488) via a website, all within each set shown simultaneously in random positions in a 3 × 4 array. The participant's task was to choose from each set the photograph that bore the most sensual expression. The photographs most often chosen as the most sensual one were analysed using a facial-expression coding system. The results showed that the sensual emotional expression had specific characteristics that differed systematically from universal facial expressions, and that it also differed for male and female faces. These findings will be discussed in the light of a possible biological basis for sensual expressions.
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