2019 年 38 巻 1 号 p. 13-25
It has recently been reported that a person’s face is perceived as more attractive when presented in a group than when presented alone. This phenomenon is called the cheerleader effect. To distinguish this effect from classical assimilation and contrast effects, this study examined if it was observable when similarly attractive faces were presented in a group. It also explored whether the cheerleader effect was modulated by the combination of the observer and face gender, considering that there are well-known gender differences in face processing. In each trial of the experiment, participants rated the physical attractiveness of a target face that was presented alone or together with two different faces. In the latter type of trial, the three faces were of the same gender and were of similar attractiveness. The cheerleader effect was successfully replicated in the present experimental setting, and the size of the effect was particularly large when female participants rated male faces. These findings indicate that the cheerleader effect may occur through mechanisms that are different from assimilation and contrast with surrounding faces, and that the effect is subject to modulation by both observer and face gender.