A Man or Woman is Hot or Not: It Takes 100 Milliseconds to Decide: Research Reveals

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By Indrani Bhattacharyya | July 30, 2014 12:18 PM EST

Eyes, smile, looks matter a lot to make a judgment about a person.

According to a recent study, it doesn’t take us more than 100 milliseconds to decide on an individual’s personality based on facial features.

Actress Scarlett Johansson arrives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for a special screening of her film "scoop" July 26, 2006.

“According to the report by Today Health, when we look at a picture of a face we rapidly form judgments about a person’s character, for example, whether they are friendly, trustworthy, or competent. Even though it’s not clear how accurate they are, these first impressions can influence our subsequent behavior,” writes Tom Hartley, an author of the paper and lecturer in psychology at University of York.”

In this study, researchers looked at 1,000 different faces and measured different physical characteristics, like facial shape. After that they tried to predict the means through which humans might react to these faces by looking at 65 different details which includes eye height, eyebrow width, or lower lip curvature, giving each one a score.

Using these scores a computer model was created that would predict first impressions. This was followed by evaluation. Six judges evaluated illustrated faces with a seven-point scale, where one is the least attractive and seven is the most attractive.

It was found that the computer could successfully predict much of the judges’ first impressions.

Based on the results, Hartley claims that big eyes have long been associated with attractiveness. The computer models predict people with smaller eyes were ranked as less attractive, but that of course doesn’t happen every time.

So small eyes coupled with a big warm smile can win everyone’s heart.

“Many of the features that influence predicted ratings in our model are changeable features of the face related to expression, pose, lighting, camera position, and so on. It’s a worry that these snap judgments are inaccurate. We may misjudge people based on appearances, Hartley explained.”

Experts feel further investigation may leave significant impacts on social media where first impression counts a lot more than any other aspect.


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(Photo: Reuters / Eric Thayer)
Actress Scarlett Johansson arrives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for a special screening of her film "scoop" July 26, 2006.
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