This study investigated the influence of attractiveness contrast effects on individual and prototypical faces. In two experimental conditions, males (N= 38, M age = 19.21 years) and females (N= 78, M age = 19.13 years) were adapted to high or low attractive opposite-sex faces. Following adaptation, participants responded to a mate selection questionnaire and rated individual faces on attractiveness. Participants also rated prototypes on attractiveness and familiarity, either during the same session (males and females) or after a 1 week delay (females). Results indicated a weak contrast effect for male participants' attractiveness ratings for individual faces but not for prototypes. For females, a weak contrast effect was found for individual faces and prototypes in the low attractive adaptation condition only. Participants found a majority of the prototypes familiar with high degrees of confidence, even after a delay. Mate selection factors, consisting of ability to compete and mate attractiveness standards, were related to participants' self-assessed attractiveness.



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