Table_1_Judging Others by Your Own Standards: Attractiveness of Primate Faces as Seen by Human Respondents.XLS

The aspects of facial attractiveness have been widely studied, especially within the context of evolutionary psychology, which proposes that aesthetic judgements of human faces are shaped by biologically based standards of beauty reflecting the mate quality. However, the faces of primates, who are very similar to us yet still considered non-human, remain neglected. In this paper, we aimed to study the facial attractiveness of non-human primates as judged by human respondents. We asked 286 Czech respondents to score photos of 107 primate species according to their perceived “beauty.” Then, we analyzed factors affecting the scores including morphology, colors, and human-likeness. We found that the three main primate groups were each scored using different cues. The proportions of inner facial features and distinctiveness are cues widely reported to affect human facial attractiveness. Interestingly, we found that these factors also affected the attractiveness scores of primate faces, but only within the Catarrhines, i.e., the primate group most similar to humans. Within this group, human-likeness positively affected the attractiveness scores, and facial extremities such as a prolonged nose or exaggerated cheeks were considered the least attractive. On the contrary, the least human-like prosimians were scored as the most attractive group. The results are discussed in the context of the “uncanny valley,” the widely discussed empirical rule.