Morrison DK, Wang H, Hahn AC, Jones BC & DeBruine LM (2017). Predicting the reward value of faces and bodies from social perceptions. PLoS One, 12(9): . doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185093

Social judgments of faces are thought to be underpinned by two perceptual components: valence and dominance. Recent work using a standard key-press task to assess reward value found that these valence and dominance components were both positively related to the reward value of faces. Although bodies play an important role in human social interaction, the perceptual dimensions that underpin social judgments of bodies and their relationship to the reward value of bodies are not yet known. The current study investigated these issues. We replicated previous studies showing that valence and dominance underpin social judgments of faces and that both components are positively related to the reward value of faces. By contrast, social judgments of bodies were underpinned by a single component that reflected aspects of both perceived valence and perceived dominance and was positively correlated with the reward value of bodies. These results highlight differences in how observers process faces and bodies. All data and analysis scripts are publically available here.

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