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ERIC Number: EJ927268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Are Children's Faces Really More Appealing than Those of Adults? Testing the Baby Schema Hypothesis beyond Infancy
Luo, Li Zhuo; Li, Hong; Lee, Kang
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v110 n1 p115-124 Sep 2011
This study examined adults' evaluations of likeability and attractiveness of children's faces from infancy to early childhood. We tested whether Lorenz's baby schema hypothesis ("Zeitschrift fur Tierpsychologie" (1943), Vol. 5, pp. 235-409) is applicable not only to infant faces but also to faces of children at older ages. Adult participants were asked to evaluate children's faces from early infancy to 6 years of age in terms of their likeability and attractiveness, and these judgments were compared with those of adult faces. It was revealed that adults judged faces of younger children as more likeable and attractive than faces of older children, which were in turn judged as more likeable and attractive than adult faces. However, after approximately 4.5 years of age, the baby schema no longer affected adults' judgments of children's facial likeability and attractiveness. These findings suggest that the baby schema affects adults' judgments of not only infant faces but also young children's faces. This influence beyond infancy is likely due to the fact that facial cranial growth is gradual during early childhood and certain crucial infantile facial cues remain readily available during this period. Future studies need to identify these specific cues to better understand why adults generally show positive responses to infantile faces and how such positive responses influence the establishment and maintenance of social relationships between young children and adults. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A