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Sex of the face in Western art: Left and right in portraits

Zaidel, Dahlia W. and FitzGerald, Peter (1994) Sex of the face in Western art: Left and right in portraits. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

The relationship between observers' taste and the sitter's face orientation as function of sitter sex in painted portraits was investigated. The historical tendency in portraiture is that the sitter's left side of the face is more likely than the right to be turned towards the viewer and this side bias is stronger with women than with men. Correctly oriented and reversed museum portraits were viewed by subjects who gave ratings of "liking" the portrait as a whole (Experiment 1) and for "attractiveness" of the sitter (Experiment 2). Only portraits of women showed a left-right difference with right favored significantly over left, irrespective of orientation or type of rating. These findings go against the historical pattern of the sex-related bias in portraiture. They suggest that most women are painted in an orientation which is less favorable to them.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:art, brain, creativity, portraiture, artist, sitter, studio, attractiveness, beauty, preference, face, faces, sex difference, gender difference, asymmetry, bias, paintings, hemispheric specialization, psychology of art, perception, pictures, painters, museum, implicit, women, men.
Subjects:Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Psychology > Perceptual Cognitive Psychology
ID Code:942
Deposited By:Zaidel, Dahlia W.
Deposited On:19 Aug 2000
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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