Study shows self-evaluation influences facial memory

March 30, 2017

Can you remember someone you met for the first time? Was there something in particular about them that caught your eye?

New research from Abertay University suggests that our self-evaluation and circumstances influence our for strangers.

The study from Abertay's Dr Christopher Watkins uncovered evidence which suggests that women in a relationship are particularly good at remembering how other women look, although their memory for also depends on how they rate their own attractiveness.

It was also discovered that were particularly good at remembering brief encounters with good-looking men.

During testing, women who did not consider themselves attractive remembered other women as more beautiful than their original , and men as less beautiful than their original encounter.

In addition, women in good relationships tended to remember men's attractiveness in a more positive light.

The experiment, in collaboration with the University of St Andrews, saw in a long-term take part in a task which tested their memory for faces.

They completed a standard memory task in which they viewed faces for three seconds each and were later asked if they had seen the faces before.

Computer graphics were used to alter the appearance of some of the faces in the memory test, with participants sometimes shown more attractive or less attractive versions of previously viewed identities.

If a participant who rated herself plain-looking originally viewed a less attractive female face, she was biased in her memory and recalled that face as being more attractive.

Dr Watkins of Abertay's Division of Psychology said: "We wanted to examine whether personal factors influence memory – how good you judge your current relationship to be and how attractive other people are likely to find you."

"Our findings suggest that these two factors shape both accuracy and illusions in how you remember the attractiveness of faces after a brief encounter."

Dr Watkins said these findings suggest that memories are attuned to certain features in other people as we move through a romantic relationship, but our memories can also show striking biases.

The research suggests that our own attractiveness and thoughts on our current shape our memory for encounters with strangers.

Explore further: Global kissing study launched on Valentine's Day

More information: To find out more about the research visit www.relationship-lab.com

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Game study not playing around with PTSD relief

May 26, 2017

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients wrestling with one of its main symptoms may find long-term relief beyond medication thanks to the work of a Western researcher.

Bouldering envisioned as new treatment for depression

May 25, 2017

A growing body of research suggests that bouldering, a form of rock climbing, can help build muscle and endurance while reducing stress—and a new study co-led by a University of Arizona doctoral student of psychology suggests ...

Study documents range of challenging meditation experiences

May 24, 2017

Meditation is increasingly being marketed as a treatment for conditions such as pain, depression, stress and addiction, and while many people achieve therapeutic goals, other meditators encounter a much broader range of experiences—sometimes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.