Perception and Expressing Habits of Smiling and Angry Expressions Modulated by Facial Physical Attractiveness in Asian Female Persons

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Abstract

In this study, we investigated the effects of facial physical attractiveness on perception and expressing habit of smiling and angry expressions. In experiment 1, 20 participants rated 60 photo subjects’ smiling and angry expressions of uncontrolled physical expression configuration. The results showed that for the angry faces, the perceived expression intensity and the expression naturalness in the attractive group were significantly stronger than those in the unattractive group; for the smiling faces, this attractiveness bias was not observed. In experiment 2, using artificial expressions made by an identical expression template, interestingly, the perceived expression intensity and the expression naturalness of the smiling faces in the attractive group were stronger than those in the unattractive group, while the impression strength of anger between the two groups was approximately the same. A comparison of the two observations suggests that facial physical attractiveness can enhance the perceived intensity of a smiling expression but not an angry expression, and that the inconsistencies between the two experiments are due to the difference of expressing habits between unattractive and attractive persons. These results have implications as regards the effect of facial attractiveness on the expressing habits of expression senders and the person’s development of social skills.

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