Abstract The importance of facial features in determining gender by college students was evaluated in this experiment. The participants were 62 college students from a small Southeastern university who were shown 48 pictures, 24 males and 24 females. In each picture a different region of the face of the person in the photo was covered. There regions were the mouth and eyes. In 16 pictures the full face was shown. There were eight pictures showing full face, eight pictures showing only the eyes and eight pictures showing only the mouth for each gender.
The results indicated the mean was high for full face, followed by eyes, then mouth. The total means were 7. 72 for full face, 7. 40 for eyes, and 5.
92 for mouth. The standard deviation was lower for full face, followed by eyes, then mouth. The total standard deviations were. 52 for full face, . 83 for eyes, and 1. 46 for mouth.
The current study demonstrates that of the different regions of the face, the gender of a person can most easily determined by seeing the full face; followed by the eyes, and then mouth. Importance of Perception on Facial Features, Determining Gender by College Students Research has suggested that when shown specific regions of the face (i. e. , mouth, eyes, or full face) gender can be determined better by some facial regions than others (Baudouin, and Tiberghien, 2000). It was also stated that distract or faves that do not have the same gender as the searched for person will be rejected faster (Baudouin, and Tiberghien, 2000). In a study using 22 women and 26 men who volunteered to participate viewing different regions of the face, results indicated that participants more quickly eliminated faces of the opposite gender than faces of the same gender than they face they were looking for.
The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of gender recognition in college students when shown the full face, only the eyes, or only the mouth. It is predicted that the accuracy of determining the gender when shown facial features will be best when viewing the full face, followed by the mouth, and then the eyes. Method Participants The participants in this study were comprised of 62 college students, 40 being female and 22 being male. The subjects were selected by availability only.
The participants were members of an introductory psychology lab at a small liberal arts college in the southeast. The participants represented different ethnic backgrounds: 44 Caucasians and 18 African Americans. The different class standings were: 27 freshman, 14 sophomores, 8 juniors, and 13 seniors. There average age range for the students was 22. 048. Design A within-subjects design was utilized.
The pictures showing regions of the face of the male and female faces served as the independent variable. The dependent variable was the accuracy of perception of the gender of the people in the pictures viewed. Materials 48 total pictures were viewed by the subjects on computers in a computer lab. These pictures were found on the web site web There were 24 pictures of males and 24 pictures of females. For each gender there were eights pictures conveying the whole face, eight showing only the eyes, and eight showing only the mouth region. Procedure We were all told to go to the computer lab and told to choose a computer; some groups of two per computer.
The participants were viewed 48 pictures of a face either shown fully, or just the eyes, or just the mouth were covered. These pictures were viewed one at a time. The subjects then clicked on either male or female for what they believed the gender was of the person pictured. The participants judged the gender of the people in the pictures.
Results Results of the descriptive statistics indicate the total mean of accuracy in determining gender was highest for full face (7. 72); followed by eyes (7. 40), then mouth (5. 92).
The standard deviation is the equal error margin of how far scores fell from the mean. The total standard deviation in this experiment was highest for mouth (1. 46); followed by eyes (. 83), then full face (.
52). The means and standard deviations indicate the full face is recognized best; followed by the eyes, then the mouth. The correlation between the gender of the participant and the total accuracy scores was. 066, with is a very weak relationship. The correlation between the ethnicity of the participant and the total accuracy scores was -. 0019, which is also poor.
The correlation between the age of the participants and the total accuracy scores was. 06718, which is poor as well. Discussion The finding of this study indicate that the best way to accurately determine gender when shown either the full face, eyes, or mouth region of the face is by viewing the full face. The next best way to determine gender is by the eyes, and then the mouth. Out study indicated that recognition of facial features when determining gender is most accurate when viewing the full face; followed by the eyes, then the mouth. Potential limitations of this study were the availability of participants, the race used in the pictures, the age of the people in the picture, and the sharing of the computers during the experiment.
The participants were selected by availability only, which does not allow much diversity of participants necessary for the experiment to represent the population as a whole. In the pictures, all people used were Caucasian, which could negatively influence the subjects' interpretation of the pictures. The age of the people in the pictures could also negatively influence the subjects' interpretation of the pictures. By some subjects sharing a computer, the subjects could have influenced each others decisions, or one person may have been doing all of the work. Future studies may wish to address race diversity in the pictures. More than one race should be represented to get rid of any negative influence on the participants.
The subjects used in the experiment should better represent the population in terms of race, gender, and age. Future studies may also wish to provide the use for every individual to use their own computer while taking part in the experiment. In conclusion, the previous hypothesis of the mouth region being more accurate in determining gender than the eyes was not supported. Viewing the full face is the most accurate way to determine gender in a person; followed by the eyes, then the mouth. Facial features are an extremely expressive form of showing emotion, determining attitude, and interacting socially, but also provide the base for depicting gender in all people.
References Baudouin, J. Y. , and Tiberghien G. (2000).
Gender is a Dimension of Face Recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2002, Vol. 28, No. 2, 362-265.