The perception of the faces of others is distorted by how its personality is interpreted

Two apparently disparate physically disparate may resemble themselves that they have similar personalities, as shown by a new study conducted by a team of psych

The perception of the faces of others is distorted by how its personality is interpreted

Two apparently disparate physically disparate may resemble themselves that they have similar personalities, as shown by a new study conducted by a team of psychologists from the University of New York (United States), which indicates that the perception of the Face of others is Distorted by how its way of being is understood.

His conclusions, which appear in Cognition magazine, reveal that the knowledge of someone's personality can influence the perception of the identity of a face and bias it towards unrelated identities. For example, if the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and singer Justin Bieber, a pair of faces between the many analyzed in the investigation, have more similar personalities in someone's mind, then this person seem visually seemed more similar , although they lack any physical similarity.

"Our face is the portal of others towards our thoughts, feelings and intentions," explains the Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology at New York University and Principal Labor Author, Jonathan Freeman. "If the perception of the faces of others is systematically distorted by our prior understanding of its personality, as our findings show, it could affect the way we behave and interact with them," he says.

The authors add that the investigation provides information to the fundamental scientific understanding of how the recognition of faces works in the brain, suggesting that not only the visual signs of a face, but also prior social knowledge, plays an active role in the perception of the faces.

To better understand how own perceptions and prejudices can influence the recognition of faces, researchers conducted a series of experiments focused on the perceptions of known people: Bieber, Putin, John Travolta, George W. Bush and Ryan Gosling, among others. In this sense, they clarified that white men were selected to establish a racial and gender-based line on the faces evaluated.

The male and female, racial and ethnic participants came from Mechanical Turk (Mturk), a tool in which individuals are compensated for completing small tasks; It is frequently used in carrying out behavioral science studies.

In general, they discovered that, when a participant believed that two individuals were more similar in terms of their personality, their faces were perceived as more similar ones.

To provide causal evidence, researchers determined whether the effect remained in individuals with whom they had never met before. The participants saw images of other white men with whom they were not familiar. If the participants learned that the personalities of these individuals were similar (instead of dissimilar), their faces were also perceived as more similar visually.

The researchers used several techniques to evaluate how faces were perceived at a less conscious level. The subjects' responses were measured with an innovative mouse tracking software that Freeman had previously developed, which uses the movements of the individual's hand to reveal unconscious cognitive processes.

Unlike surveys or assessments, in which subjects can consciously alter their answers, this technique requires that subjects make decisions in fractions of a second, with which less conscious trends are discovered through subtle deviations in the movement trajectory from his hands when moving the mouse during the experiments. They also used a technique known as reverse correlation, which allowed researchers to generate facial images that showed how participants perceived others "in the eye of the mind".

"Our findings show that the perception of facial identity is governed not only by facial features, such as eyes and chin, but is also distorted by social knowledge that we have learned about others, skewing towards alternative identities despite That these identities lack any physical resemblance, "concludes Freeman.

Updated Date: 04 September 2021, 22:57

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS