Focal Length Affects Depicted Shape and Perception of Facial Images.
ABSTRACT: Static photographs are currently the most often employed stimuli in research on social perception. The method of photograph acquisition might affect the depicted subject's facial appearance and thus also the impression of such stimuli. An important factor influencing the resulting photograph is focal length, as different focal lengths produce various levels of image distortion. Here we tested whether different focal lengths (50, 85, 105 mm) affect depicted shape and perception of female and male faces. We collected three portrait photographs of 45 (22 females, 23 males) participants under standardized conditions and camera setting varying only in the focal length. Subsequently, the three photographs from each individual were shown on screen in a randomized order using a 3-alternative forced-choice paradigm. The images were judged for attractiveness, dominance, and femininity/masculinity by 369 raters (193 females, 176 males). Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) was measured from each photograph and overall facial shape was analysed employing geometric morphometric methods (GMM). Our results showed that photographs taken with 50 mm focal length were rated as significantly less feminine/masculine, attractive, and dominant compared to the images taken with longer focal lengths. Further, shorter focal lengths produced faces with smaller fWHR. Subsequent GMM revealed focal length significantly affected overall facial shape of the photographed subjects. Thus methodology of photograph acquisition, focal length in this case, can significantly affect results of studies using photographic stimuli perhaps due to different levels of perspective distortion that influence shapes and proportions of morphological traits.
Project description:Background. In recent years, researchers have investigated the relationship between facial width-to-height ratio (FWHR) and a variety of threat and dominance behaviours. The majority of methods involved measuring FWHR from 2D photographs of faces. However, individuals can vary dramatically in their appearance across images, which poses an obvious problem for reliable FWHR measurement. Methods. I compared the effect sizes due to the differences between images taken with unconstrained camera parameters (Studies 1 and 2) or varied facial expressions (Study 3) to the effect size due to identity, i.e., the differences between people. In Study 1, images of Hollywood actors were collected from film screenshots, providing the least amount of experimental control. In Study 2, controlled photographs, which only varied in focal length and distance to camera, were analysed. In Study 3, images of different facial expressions, taken in controlled conditions, were measured. Results. Analyses revealed that simply varying the focal length and distance between the camera and face had a relatively small effect on FWHR, and therefore may prove less of a problem if uncontrolled in study designs. In contrast, when all camera parameters (including the camera itself) are allowed to vary, the effect size due to identity was greater than the effect of image selection, but the ranking of the identities was significantly altered by the particular image used. Finally, I found significant changes to FWHR when people posed with four of seven emotional expressions in comparison with neutral, and the effect size due to expression was larger than differences due to identity. Discussion. The results of these three studies demonstrate that even when head pose is limited to forward facing, changes to the camera parameters and a person's facial expression have sizable effects on FWHR measurement. Therefore, analysing images that fail to constrain some of these variables can lead to noisy and unreliable results, but also relationships caused by previously unconsidered confounds.
Project description:Many sets of human facial photographs produced in Western cultures are available for scientific research. We report here on the development of a face database of Turkish undergraduate student targets. High-resolution standardized photographs were taken and supported by the following materials: (a) basic demographic and appearance-related information, (b) two types of landmark configurations (for Webmorph and geometric morphometrics (GM)), (c) facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) measurement, (d) information on photography parameters, (e) perceptual norms provided by raters. We also provide various analyses and visualizations of facial variation based on rating norms using GM. Finally, we found that there is sexual dimorphism in fWHR in our sample but that this is accounted for by body mass index. We present the pattern of associations between rating norms, GM and fWHR measurements. The database and supporting materials are freely available for scientific research purposes.
Project description:Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is associated with social dominance in human and non-human primates, which may reflect the effects of testosterone on facial morphology and behaviour. Given that testosterone facilitates status-seeking motivation, the association between fWHR and behaviour should be contingent on the relative costs and benefits of particular dominance strategies across species and socioecological contexts. We tested this hypothesis in bonobos (Pan paniscus), who exhibit female dominance and rely on both affiliation and aggression to achieve status. We measured fWHR from facial photographs, affiliative dominance with Assertiveness personality scores and agonistic dominance with behavioural data. Consistent with our hypothesis, agonistic and affiliative dominance predicted fWHR in both sexes independent of age and body weight, supporting the role of status-seeking motivation in producing the link between fWHR and socioecologically relevant dominance behaviour across primates.
Project description:Aspects of personality in nonhuman primates have been linked to health, social relationships, and life history outcomes. In humans as well as nonhuman primates, facial morphology is associated with assertiveness, aggression, and measures of dominance status. In this study we aimed to examine the relationship among facial morphology, age, sex, dominance status, and ratings on the personality dimensions Confidence, Openness, Assertiveness, Friendliness, Activity, and Anxiety in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). We measured facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) and lower-height/full-height ratio (fLHFH) using photographs from 109 captive rhesus macaques, which observers also assessed for dominance status and personality, and explored the associations among facial morphology, age, sex, dominance status, and personality. fWHR and fLHFH personality associations depended on age category: Assertiveness was associated with higher fWHR and fLHFH, and Confidence was associated with lower fWHR and fLHFH, but all these associations were consistent only in individuals <8 yr. of age. We found fWHR and fLHFH to not be consistently associated with sex or dominance status; compared to younger individuals, we found few associations with fWHR and fLHFH for individuals older than 8 yr., which may be due to limited sample size. Our results indicate that in macaques <8 yr. old, facial morphology is associated with the Assertiveness and Confidence personality dimensions, which is consistent with results suggesting a relationship between fWHR and trait aggression in humans and assertiveness in brown capuchins, all of which implies that fWHR might be a cue to assertive and aggressive traits.
Project description:Facial Width-to-Height Ratio (fWHR) has been linked with dominant and aggressive behavior in human males. We show here that on portrait photographs published online, chief executive officers (CEOs) of companies listed in the Dow Jones stock market index and the Deutscher Aktienindex have a higher-than-normal fWHR, which also correlates positively with their company's donations to charitable causes and environmental awareness. Furthermore, we show that leaders of the world's most influential non-governmental organizations and even the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the popes, have higher fWHR compared to controls on public portraits, suggesting that the relationship between displayed fWHR and leadership is not limited to profit-seeking organizations. The data speak against the simplistic view that wider-faced men achieve higher social status through antisocial tendencies and overt aggression, or the mere signaling of such dispositions. Instead they suggest that high fWHR is linked with high social rank in a more subtle fashion in both competitive as well as prosocially oriented settings.
Project description:Relative valuation of potentially affected ecosystem benefits can increase the legitimacy and social acceptance of ecosystem restoration projects. As an alternative or supplement to traditional methods of deriving beneficiary preference, we downloaded from social media and classified ?21,000 photographs taken in two Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC), the St. Louis River and the Milwaukee Estuary. Our motivating presumption was that the act of taking a photograph constitutes some measure of the photographer's individual preference for, or choice of, the depicted subject matter among myriad possible subject matter. Overall, 17% of photos downloaded from the photo-sharing sites Flickr, Instagram, and Panoramio depicted an ecosystem benefit of the AOC. Percent of photographs depicting a benefit and the photographs' subject matter varied between AOCs and among photo-sharing sites. Photos shared on Instagram were less user-gender biased than other photo-sharing sites and depicted active recreation (e.g., trail use) more frequently than passive recreation (e.g., landscape viewing). Local users shared more photos depicting a benefit than non-local users. The spatial distribution of photograph locations varied between photos depicting and not depicting a benefit, and identified areas within AOCs from which few photographs were shared. As a source of beneficiary preference information, we think Instagram has some advantages over the other photo-sharing sites. When combined with other information, spatially-explicit relative valuation derived from aggregate social preference can be translated into information and knowledge useful for Great Lakes restoration decision making.
Project description:Background. Physical, visual, chemical, and auditory cues signalling fighting ability have independently evolved in many animal taxa as a means to resolve conflicts without escalating to physical aggression. Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR, i.e., the relative width to height of the face) has been associated with dominance-related phenotypes both in humans and in other primates. In humans, faces with a larger fWHR are perceived as more aggressive. Methods. We examined fWHR variation among 11 species of the genus Macaca. Macaques have been grouped into four distinct categories, from despotic to tolerant, based on their female dominance style. Female dominance style is related to intra- and inter-sexual competition in both males and females and is the result of different evolutionary pressure across species. We used female dominance style as a proxy of intra-/inter-sexual competition to test the occurrence of correlated evolution between competitive regimes and dominance-related phenotypes. fWHR was calculated from 145 2D photographs of male and female adult macaques. Results. We found no phylogenetic signal on the differences in fWHR across species in the two sexes. However, fWHR was greater, in females and males, in species characterised by despotic female dominance style than in tolerant species. Discussion. Our results suggest that dominance-related phenotypes are related to differences in competitive regimes and intensity of inter- and intra-sexual selection across species.
Project description:Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) has been proposed as a sexually dimorphic signal in humans that develops under the influence of pubertal testosterone (T); however, no studies have examined the association between fWHR and T during the phase in which facial growth is canalized--adolescence. In a sample of adolescent Tsimane males, we evaluate the relationship between T, known T-derived traits (i.e. strength and voice pitch), and craniofacial measurements. If fWHR variation derives from T's effect on craniofacial growth during adolescence, several predictions should be supported: 1) fWHR should increase with age as T increases, 2) fWHR should reflect adolescent T (rather than adult T per se), 3) fWHR should exhibit velocity changes during adolescence in parallel with the pubertal spurt in T, 4) fWHR should correlate with T after controlling for age and other potential confounds, and 5) fWHR should show strong associations with other T-derived traits. Only prediction 4 was observed. Additionally, we examined three alternative facial masculinity ratios: facial width/lower face height, cheekbone prominence, and facial width/full face height. In contrast to fWHR, all three alternative measures show a strong age-related trend and are associated with both T and T-dependent traits. Overall, our results question the status of fWHR as a sexually-selected signal of pubertal T and T-linked traits.
Project description:The present study provides normative measures for a new stimulus set of images consisting of 225 everyday objects, each depicted both as a photograph and a matched clipart image generated directly from the photograph (450 images total). The clipart images preserve the same scale, shape, orientation, and general color features as the corresponding photographs. Various norms (modal name and verb agreement measures, picture-name agreement, familiarity, visual complexity, and image agreement) were collected separately for each image type and in two different contexts: online (using Mechanical Turk) and in the laboratory. We discuss similarities and differences in the normative measures according to both image type and experimental context. The full set of norms is provided in the supplemental materials.
Project description:Recently, associations between facial structure and aggressive behaviour have been reported. Specifically, the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is thought to link to aggression, although it is unclear whether this association is related to a specific dimension of aggression, or to a more generalized concept of dominance behaviour. Similarly, an association has been proposed between facial masculinity and dominant and aggressive behaviour, but, to date, this has not been formally tested. Because masculinity and fWHR are negatively correlated, it is unlikely that both signal similar behaviours. Here, we thus tested these associations and show that: (i) fWHR is related to both self-reported dominance and aggression; (ii) physical aggression, verbal aggression and anger, but not hostility are associated with fWHR; (iii) there is no evidence for a sex difference in associations between fWHR and aggression; and (iv) the facial masculinity index does not predict dominance or aggression. Taken together, these results indicate that fWHR, but not a measure of facial masculinity, cues dominance and specific types of aggression in both sexes.