The Influence of a Baby-Type Face on a Social Evaluation and Attribution

Svetlana V. Zorina, Yulia V. Mikhaylenko, Samara State Aerospace University, Samara, Russia

Recommended Citation:
Zorina, Svetlana V., Mikhaylenko, Yulia V. (2015) ‘The Influence of a Baby-Type Face on a Social Evaluation and Attribution’, Social Phenomena. 2015 1(3), pp. 153-162.

The baby-face effect consists in the attribution of the personality traits typical for children to the people with particular appearance. The experiment participants were shown people’s photographs modified to emphasise baby-type features. The experiment demonstrated that baby-type appearance affects the judgements about competence, style of interpersonal communication and causal attributions. Parental reactions were not part of the response to the change of the photographs. The study found gender specificity in the judgements about baby-faced models. Baby-faced men as compared to men with more mature appearance are considered to have more socially desirable qualities in interpersonal relations, but weaker competences. It is pointed out that the assessment of men and women with different types of appearance is not affected by the sex of the participants.

Keywords: baby face, social estimation, attribution, perception, interpersonal relations.

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