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The motivational salience of infant faces is similar for men and women.

Parsons CE, Young KS, Kumari N, Stein A, Kringelbach ML - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: It has been widely assumed that men and women respond in different ways to those features, such as a large forehead and eyes and round protruding cheeks, colloquially described as 'cute'.However, this difference was not seen in the 'wanting' task, where we measured the willingness of men and women to key-press to increase or decrease viewing duration of an infant face.Further analysis of sensitivity to cuteness, categorising infants by degree of infantile features, revealed that both men and women showed a graded significant increase in both positive attractiveness ratings and viewing times to the 'cutest' infants.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Infant facial features are thought to be powerful elicitors of caregiving behaviour. It has been widely assumed that men and women respond in different ways to those features, such as a large forehead and eyes and round protruding cheeks, colloquially described as 'cute'. We investigated experimentally potential differences using measures of both conscious appraisal ('liking') and behavioural responsivity ('wanting') to real world infant and adult faces in 71 non-parents. Overall, women gave significantly higher 'liking' ratings for infant faces (but not adult faces) compared to men. However, this difference was not seen in the 'wanting' task, where we measured the willingness of men and women to key-press to increase or decrease viewing duration of an infant face. Further analysis of sensitivity to cuteness, categorising infants by degree of infantile features, revealed that both men and women showed a graded significant increase in both positive attractiveness ratings and viewing times to the 'cutest' infants. We suggest that infant faces may have similar motivational salience to men and women, despite gender idiosyncrasies in their conscious appraisal.

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Screenshots of the ‘liking’ task.Participants were initially presented with a face image and a visual                            analogue scale (left) and were given 5 seconds to rate the image                            (right). The ‘wanting’ task was visually similar, except                            that the labels ‘very attractive’ and ‘very                            unattractive’ were absent, and the height of the white bar of the                            visual analogue scale decreased over time (the speed of this movement                            could be either increased or decreased by key-pressing).
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pone-0020632-g001: Screenshots of the ‘liking’ task.Participants were initially presented with a face image and a visual analogue scale (left) and were given 5 seconds to rate the image (right). The ‘wanting’ task was visually similar, except that the labels ‘very attractive’ and ‘very unattractive’ were absent, and the height of the white bar of the visual analogue scale decreased over time (the speed of this movement could be either increased or decreased by key-pressing).

Mentions: In both tasks the participants were presented with a face image on the centre of the screen and a vertical visual analogue scale immediately to the right (see Figure 1). In the ‘liking’ task, participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of infant and adult faces using a visual analogue scale. Responses on this scale were measured from +4 ‘Very attractive’ to −4 ‘Very unattractive’. Participants made their rating by using the ‘up’ and ‘down’ keys to adjust the bar. Each stimulus was presented for five seconds and participants rated the 70 stimuli twice each. The order of stimuli was pseudorandomised across participants, by creating four versions of the task with different stimuli orders in each version. Ten participants completed each version. The order of completion of the ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’ task was also counterbalanced across participants.


The motivational salience of infant faces is similar for men and women.

Parsons CE, Young KS, Kumari N, Stein A, Kringelbach ML - PLoS ONE (2011)

Screenshots of the ‘liking’ task.Participants were initially presented with a face image and a visual                            analogue scale (left) and were given 5 seconds to rate the image                            (right). The ‘wanting’ task was visually similar, except                            that the labels ‘very attractive’ and ‘very                            unattractive’ were absent, and the height of the white bar of the                            visual analogue scale decreased over time (the speed of this movement                            could be either increased or decreased by key-pressing).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3105111&req=5

pone-0020632-g001: Screenshots of the ‘liking’ task.Participants were initially presented with a face image and a visual analogue scale (left) and were given 5 seconds to rate the image (right). The ‘wanting’ task was visually similar, except that the labels ‘very attractive’ and ‘very unattractive’ were absent, and the height of the white bar of the visual analogue scale decreased over time (the speed of this movement could be either increased or decreased by key-pressing).
Mentions: In both tasks the participants were presented with a face image on the centre of the screen and a vertical visual analogue scale immediately to the right (see Figure 1). In the ‘liking’ task, participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of infant and adult faces using a visual analogue scale. Responses on this scale were measured from +4 ‘Very attractive’ to −4 ‘Very unattractive’. Participants made their rating by using the ‘up’ and ‘down’ keys to adjust the bar. Each stimulus was presented for five seconds and participants rated the 70 stimuli twice each. The order of stimuli was pseudorandomised across participants, by creating four versions of the task with different stimuli orders in each version. Ten participants completed each version. The order of completion of the ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’ task was also counterbalanced across participants.

Bottom Line: It has been widely assumed that men and women respond in different ways to those features, such as a large forehead and eyes and round protruding cheeks, colloquially described as 'cute'.However, this difference was not seen in the 'wanting' task, where we measured the willingness of men and women to key-press to increase or decrease viewing duration of an infant face.Further analysis of sensitivity to cuteness, categorising infants by degree of infantile features, revealed that both men and women showed a graded significant increase in both positive attractiveness ratings and viewing times to the 'cutest' infants.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Infant facial features are thought to be powerful elicitors of caregiving behaviour. It has been widely assumed that men and women respond in different ways to those features, such as a large forehead and eyes and round protruding cheeks, colloquially described as 'cute'. We investigated experimentally potential differences using measures of both conscious appraisal ('liking') and behavioural responsivity ('wanting') to real world infant and adult faces in 71 non-parents. Overall, women gave significantly higher 'liking' ratings for infant faces (but not adult faces) compared to men. However, this difference was not seen in the 'wanting' task, where we measured the willingness of men and women to key-press to increase or decrease viewing duration of an infant face. Further analysis of sensitivity to cuteness, categorising infants by degree of infantile features, revealed that both men and women showed a graded significant increase in both positive attractiveness ratings and viewing times to the 'cutest' infants. We suggest that infant faces may have similar motivational salience to men and women, despite gender idiosyncrasies in their conscious appraisal.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus