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The Science of Social Vision$
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Reginald B. Adams, Nalini Ambady, Ken Nakayama, and Shinsuke Shimojo

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333176.001.0001

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An Ecological Theory of Face Perception

An Ecological Theory of Face Perception

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter 1 An Ecological Theory of Face Perception
Source:
The Science of Social Vision
Author(s):

Leslie A. Zebrowitz

P. Matthew Bronstad

Joann M. Montepare

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333176.003.0002

This chapter presents an ecological theory of face perception, which draws on a Gibsonian approach to perception. This theory is offered not as a hypothetico-deductive framework, but rather as a general conceptual model that can integrate existing research findings and guide future research questions. It adds to the dual process and face-space models by expanding the attributes perceived in faces, emphasizing the function of face perception to guide adaptive behavior, predicting face perceptions from the overgeneralization of adaptive responses, highlighting dynamic and multimodal cues to face perceptions, and considering the perceiver attunements that moderate face perceptions. The chapter reviews the tenets of the ecological theory of face perception and considers how they inform the perception of four significant facial qualities: familiarity, age, emotion, and attractiveness. It also considers how ostensibly separate domains of face perception may be integrated through the ecological concept of perceived affordances.

Keywords:   face perception, face-space models, ecological theory, affordances, adaptive responses

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