Social and Applied Aspects of Perceiving Faces

Social and Applied Aspects of Perceiving Faces

Social and Applied Aspects of Perceiving Faces

Social and Applied Aspects of Perceiving Faces

Synopsis

This interdisciplinary overview integrates a variety of perspectives on the process and interpretation of faces as a major source of verbal and nonverbal communication. Written by authors from social, experimental, and cognitive psychology as well as from the dental sciences, Social and Applied Aspects of Perceiving Faces covers topics including normal variation in facial appearance and facial anomalies.

Excerpt

The face is the source of vocal communication and most nonverbal communication, as well as an important source of information for individuals' identity, age, and sex. Hence, faces are often the center of attention when perceiving and evaluating others, and facial appearance is one of the chief factors influencing human social interactions. From this perspective, extensive analysis of perceiving faces seems warranted. the role of facial appearance in regulating or modifying social reactions and interactions is a major concern of this volume, but the perception of faces also constitutes a field of research in which many fundamental questions of perception can be addressed. For instance, understanding the perception of changes in facial expression, orientation, or age requires solutions to the problems of perceptual constancy and to the identification of events. Some basic theoretical issues are addressed in this volume but, as the title indicates, the book focuses on social and applied aspects of face perception.

An important motive for producing this volume is the unfortunate independence with which research and theory on face perception have been pursued across the disciplines of psychology, sociology, dental sciences, and plastic and reconstructive surgery. in contrast to much of the primary literature on face perception, this book is truly interdisciplinary. the contributors to this volume represent a variety of backgrounds, ranging from perceptual psychology to orthodontics. Consequently, they view face perception from varying perspectives and with somewhat different concerns. the contributors all share, however, an appreciation for the tremendous importance of face perception in determining how people, each with their own unique facial appearance and varying degrees of similarity to others, influence and are influenced by the world around them. We also share the basic ecological viewpoint that face . . .

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