Face perception

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Face perception

What makes children so cute? Is it their adorably soft skin? Their innocently mischievous smiles? Their oversized eyes and tiny little mouths? Why is it that some kids are singled out for TV commercials and child beauty pageants, while others don’t seem to be noteworthy in any way? Attractiveness in children isn’t trivial — teachers…

It’s hard to resist flirting with babies. Even if a baby has been screaming her head off for hours on end in the seat behind you on a transatlantic flight, if she giggles and smiles when you’re deplaning, you’ll probably smile back. What is it about babies that makes our hearts melt almost instantaneously when…

When adults are asked if they remember pictures of faces, they’re more accurate when the faces are the same race as they are. It makes some sense — people are likely to spend more time with and have more same-race friends, so they may become better attuned to the differences in individuals in their own…

Do smells have an impact on how we judge people? Certainly if someone smells bad, we may have a negative impression of the person. But what if the smell is so subtle we don’t consciously notice it? Research results have been mixed, with some studies actually reporting that we like people more when in the…

This past weekend, I went to two different holiday parties. While many of the people at the parties were friends, I was also introduced to a couple dozen new people — out of town guests of the hosts, friends of friends, or people from our small town that I somehow had never met. If I…

When we are trying to understand what someone is saying, we rely a lot on the movement of their face. We pay attention to how their faces move, and that informs our understanding of what is said. The classic example of this is the McGurk effect, where the same sound accompanied by different facial movements…

Do people ever tell you to “just smile, you’ll feel better”? If you’re like our daughter Nora, you hear it a lot, and you get annoyed every time you hear it. Telling a teenager to smile is probably one of the best ways to ensure she won’t smile for the next several hours. But the…

On our recent trip to Europe, we had a hard time getting the kids to smile for pictures. Most of our pictures of Nora ended up looking something like this (actually this one’s a self portrait, but you get the idea): Here her expression is basically neutral, and if it wasn’t such a dramatic shot,…

This is a guest post by Christy Tucker, one of Greta’s top student writers from Spring of 2007. Take a look at the following paintings. How alike are they? How can you tell–which clues help you determine similarity? Now, which of these girls are related? If only two of these young girls are related, how…

This is a guest post by Rivka Ihejirika, one of Greta’s top student writers for Spring 2007 Do you find it harder to recognize the face of someone from a race other than your own? Does it take you longer to recall the face of someone from an unfamiliar race? Some researchers believe that we…