Let’s face it! We are seeing things differently

Let’s face it! We are seeing things differently

Have you ever wondered why is it easier for you to be seen as more credible? Or why do you believe that a person is more attractive than another one? It might seem counterintuitive, but it is possible, as our study might show you!  

Face perception facilitates judging characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, and facial expression. It does so by optimizing visual discrimination mechanisms in the environment. Therefore, face adaptation has an influence on what we perceive and how we act. For example, there is an existing bias found within CV pre-screening: sometimes, after reading the CVs, an employer prefers one applicant over another one, simply depending on the picture of the face (maybe because of the (perception of the) gender, ethnicity, etc.). 

 Being exposed to a specific face temporarily biases one’s perception (e.g. of other faces) toward the different characteristics of that face. Consequently, the boundary where people differentiate between male and female faces is shifted.

Why could this research be relevant for our daily lifes? Easy! If someone wants to obtain many customers, or if someone would like to produce a trustworthy advertisement, one should know if adaptation (and accordingly the perception of gender/race) could affect that. It is important to investigate this so that future advertisements can be made more effectively. Furthermore, stereotypes are nowadays a hot issue that is really taking our world by storm. Do you think that they can be related to face adaptation? Let’s face it!

By M. Korniyenko, M. Torenbeek, L. Mangel, A. Kallabis


Yang, H., Shen, J., Chen, J., & Fang, F. (2011). Face adaptation improves gender discrimination. Vision Research, 51(1), 105–110. 

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