Data_Sheet_1_The Attractiveness of Masked Faces Is Influenced by Race and Mask Attitudes.pdf (123.55 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_The Attractiveness of Masked Faces Is Influenced by Race and Mask Attitudes.pdf

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posted on 17.05.2022, 05:05 authored by Veronica Dudarev, Miki Kamatani, Yuki Miyazaki, James T. Enns, Jun I. Kawahara

This study tests the influence of wearing a protective face mask on the perceived attractiveness of the wearer. Participants who identified as White, and who varied in their ideological stance toward mask wearing, rated the attractiveness of facial photographs. The photos varied in baseline attractiveness (low, medium, and high), race (White and Asian), and whether or not the face was wearing a protective mask. Attitudes regarding protective masks were measured after the rating task using a survey to identify participants as either pro- or anti-mask. The results showed that masked individuals of the same race were generally rated as more attractive than unmasked individuals, but that masked individuals of another race were rated as less attractive than unmasked individuals. Moreover, pro-mask participants rated masked individuals as generally more attractive than unmasked individuals, whereas anti-maskers rated masked individuals as less attractive. A control experiment, replicating the procedure but replacing the protective masks with a partially occluding notebook, showed that these effects were mask-specific. These results demonstrate that perceived attractiveness is affected by characteristics of the viewer (attitudes toward protective masks), their relationship to the target (same or different race), and by circumstances external to both (pandemic).

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