Maloney and Dal Martello (2006) reported that similarity ratings of pairs of related and unrelated children were good predictors of the probability that those children were labeled as being siblings by a second group of observers. Surprisingly, similarity ratings were not good predictors of whether the sibling pair was same-sex or opposite-sex or how close the pair was in age, suggesting that people ignore cues that are uninformative about kinship when making similarity judgments of faces. Here we replicate this study using two sets of related and unrelated adult sibling pairs. In both sets, similarity ratings were very good predictors of the probability of being judged siblings. In contrast to the findings for child faces, similarity ratings for unrelated same-sex pairs were significantly higher than for unrelated opposite-sex pairs, while similarity ratings of related same-sex and opposite-sex pairs were not significantly different.
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