Preference for self-resembling faces in human mate choice and interpersonal relations  [presentation, ppt, 2014 kB]

Kocsor F., Juhász S., Rezneki R., Bereczkei T.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Empirical studies proved that human mate choice tends to be homogamous for various traits. However, results of the experiments on facial resemblance are contradictory. Bereczkei (2004) showed a high degree of similarity between spouses, while deBruine (2004) found negative correlation between self-resemblance and attractiveness of opposite sex images. To obtain additional data about the preference for self-resemblance, we took photos of volunteers' faces, which were morphed into male and female composite faces. The volunteers had to choose between self-resembling and non-resembling faces, and images which were more attractive then the self-resembling faces. Women did not show any preference for similarity, they preferred the most attractive male and female faces. In contrast, men preferred the self-resembling images of women to non-resembling images. In a situation, when men had to choose between the three types of opposite sex images at the same time, they preferred the most attractive to self-resembling and the latter to non-resembling faces, as predicted. The self-resemblance of same-sex faces was not preferred by men nor by women. Presumably in a real mate-choice situation both similarity and attractiveness play an important role. The difference in the preference for the same and opposite sex self-resembling faces supports the theory that instead of mere perceptional biases, higher level, adaptive, evolved neuronal processes of decision-making contribute to the mechanism of choosing between faces.