Within-person variability in facial appearance

Cursiter, Heather J. (2013) Within-person variability in facial appearance. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Within-person variability has largely been neglected in face processing research, with research typically focusing instead on between-person variability. In experimental settings between-person variability often becomes between-image variability with research using one image to represent a face. This implies that an image is an adequate representation of a face, however one image cannot illustrate the variability that can occur in facial appearance. This thesis argues that overlooking within-person variability is a fundamental flaw in face processing research, as within-person variability is surprisingly large. The experiments in this thesis illustrate the effect of within-person variability in different face processing contexts: face identification, face perception and image memory. Experiments 1 – 7 demonstrate the difficulty of identifying familiar and unfamiliar faces across within-person variability using an image-sorting task. Experiment 8 illustrates the within-person variability that occurs in personality perception, and Experiments 9 and 10 illustrate the within-person variability that occurs in the perception of facial attractiveness. Lastly Experiments 11 and 12 introduce within-person variability to memory recognition and demonstrate the difficulties of remembering multiple images of the same face. From the results of Experiments 1 – 12 it is concluded that within-person variability is highly influential in all the discussed areas of face processing and therefore needs to be taken seriously in face processing research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: face recognition, face perception, face identification, face memory, within-person variability, trustworthiness, dominance, facial attractiveness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Supervisor's Name: Jenkins, Dr. Rob
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Miss Heather J Cursiter
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4541
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 09:04
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2013 09:08
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4541

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