Langlois – Facial Diversity & Infant Preference for Attractveness (Developmental)

Langlois et al. investigated infant facial preference. Describe four features of the stimuli
used in study
colour (slides)
men and women
16 of each gender
half attractive faces, half unattractive
rated for attractiveness by undergraduates

facial attractiveness
Symmetrical face, average features, youthful, healthy

how many studies?

study 1 aims
• To replicate previous results with female faces
• Extend results to male faces
• Investigate how the manner the male and female faces are presented influence infant preferences

study 1 sample
• 60 infants
• 6 months old
• 53 of them were Caucasian

study one iv
• Attractive and unattractive faces

study one dv
• How long the babies looked at each face

study 1 method
• Each infant saw color slides of 16 adult Caucasian women and 16 Caucasian adult men
• Half of the slides of each sex depicted attractive faces, the other half depicted unattractive faces
• Before experiment, the slide’s faces were rated for attractiveness by at least 40 undergraduate men and women using a 5 point scale
• The final faces selected:
Facial expression, hair length, hair color were equally distributed across attractiveness conditions
Male faces cleanly shaven
Clothes cues masked
Neutral expressions

study 1 procedure
• Infant was seated on parent’s lap and parent wore occluded glasses in order to not influence the baby
• A light and buzzing noise occurred to get baby to look at screen
• A trial began when the infant first looked at one of the slides
• When the infant looked at the center of the screen, the next pair of slides was displayed
• Each trial lasted 10 seconds
• Screen brightness consistent
• Faces presented in two sets of 16 slides
• Each set was divided into 8 trial blocks of 2 slides each
• As a control for infant side bias, the slides paired so that infants viewed only pairs of women or pairs of men
• Alternating condition- infants saw alternating pairs of females and males
• Grouped condition- infants saw all women’s slides together, then men’s slides together
• Infants given 5-10 minutes break after 8 trials
• Direction and duration of looks recorded on the keyboard of a lab computer that recorded events
• Experimenter was blind to attractiveness level of slides
• Reliability of visual fixation scoring by having each experimenter score randomly selected videotaped sessions

study 1 results
• Infants looked longer at attractive faces than unattractive faces
• Infants preference for attractive faces for both males and females
• Condition of presentation not significant
• Boys looked longer at male faces
• Mother’s attractiveness did not make a difference

study 2 aims
• Extend findings to non-white faces
• Faces of black adult women were rated for attractiveness by both black and Caucasian judges

study 2 sample
• 40 infants
• 6 months old
• 36 white infants

study 2 presentation
black adult female faces

study 2 results
• Infants looked longer at attractive faces than unattractive faces
• Mother’s attractiveness did not make a difference

study 3 aim
• Extend Findings to infant faces

study 3 sample
• 39 infants
• 6 months old
• 36 white infants

study 3 presentation
3 month old baby faces

study 3 results
infants looked longer at attractive faces

• Beauty is nature NOT nurture
• Ethnically diverse faces possess distinct and similar structural features

Describe whether the Langlois study supports the nature or nurture debate and why you claim that. [2]
-The Langlois study supports the Nature debate. Why? In the Langlois study the infants gazed longer at the attractive faces even though they had not really had the time to establish a distinction between attractive and unattractive. This shows that they were born with a liking to attractiveness.

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