The role of audiovisual integration in the perception of attractiveness.

Although vocal and facial cues to attractiveness are well established, few studies have examined how these signals interact, even though they often co-occur in real-world scenarios. We investigate the integration of vocal and facial signals of attractiveness, adapting a Garner interference paradigm. Prior research has demonstrated that average faces and voices are seen as more attractive; thus, we manipulated attractiveness by varying the degree of averageness of either the face or the voice. In Experiment 1, participants rated the attractiveness of the face and voice stimuli in isolation and paired together in 2 separate audiovisual conditions in which individual voices or faces were rated (attended domain) while the accompanying face or voice in the unattended domain varied in averageness. Facial averageness in the unattended domain altered attractiveness ratings of individual voices, though vocal averageness did not influence facial attractiveness. Because vocal pitch also influences attractiveness, Experiment 2 manipulated vocal pitch and facial averageness. Despite a significant pitch effect for voices in isolation, vocal pitch did not influence facial attractiveness in audiovisual conditions. This provides preliminary evidence that vocal and facial cues are integrated asymmetrically: Faces appear integral to the perception of vocal attractiveness, whereas voices are a separable domain when judging facial attractiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)