People look best from the left: study

The left side of the face is more attractive, according to a new study.
Photo / Thinkstock
The left side of the face is more attractive, according to a new study. Photo / Thinkstock

The left-hand side of your face is most attractive, according to a new study.

Participants in the US study were asked to rate how pleasant male and female faces were. The were shown grey-scale photographs of both the left and right side of the face.

The researchers from Wake Forest University in the US found that participants rated the left side of the face to be more appealing than the right. Even mirror images that showed left side of the face were favoured as more appealing than the original right side photograph. There was a strong inclination towards left-sided photographs of both male and female.

This could be due to the fact that people present a greater intensity of emotion on the left side of the face, according to the paper published online in Springer's journal Experimental Brain Research.

"Our results suggest that posers' left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing," the researchers said.

"Our findings provide support for a number of concepts - the notions of lateralised emotion and right hemispheric dominance with the right side of the brain controlling the left side of the face during emotional expression."

Aesthetic preferences were also confirmed by measurements of pupil size, a reliable unconscious measurement of interest. The pupils dilate in response to more interesting stimuli - in this case more pleasant-looking faces - and constrict when looking at unpleasant images. In the experiment, pupil size increased with pleasantness ratings.

For the study, three separate groups of participants viewed and rated the attractiveness of 56 full faces, their 56 vertical left hemi-faces and 56 right hemi-faces.

Medical Daily also links the findings to 'the glance curve,' which according to some art experts, plays an important role when a person is viewing a painting. It is 'easier' to view a painting from left to right than it is in viewing right-left. It is assumed that we see a picture like we read. So, if you have learnt to read left-right way then you may view a painting from left-right way too.

- HERALD ONLINE

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