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The cognitive representation of face distinctiveness : theoretical contribution and direct evidence for face space models

by Potter, Timothy

Abstract (Summary)
The distinctiveness of a face is a crucial factor for its ability to be discriminated, memorized, and identified correctly. In this thesis, we provided a contribution to face distinctiveness by examining the impact of socially relevant factors such as attractiveness, group and emotional expression on distinctiveness. We show that attractive faces are more similar to each other than unattractive faces, using female Caucasian faces and male faces of a Caucasian and heterogeneous Non-Caucasian group. We also show, using 3D face generated faces of photo-realistic quality, that attractive faces were closer to the prototype of only their specific group, and that hence typicality of attractive faces was group specific. Lastly, we show that assigning an emotional expression to a face that is evaluatively incongruent with its race makes it more psychologically distinctive, as revealed in perceptual discrimination and memory tasks.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Université catholique de Louvain

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:face memory space perception multidimensional scaling

ISBN:

Date of Publication:09/17/2008

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