Task Measuring Implicit Attractiveness As a Function of Skin Tone and Facial Features: A Failed Replication

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In two studies, participants completed an implicit attractiveness task with faces as primes varying on (a) facial features from Afrocentric to Eurocentric and (b) skin tone from dark to light, and target pictures of environmental scenes varying in attractiveness. On each trial, participants were briefly primed with a face. Next, they categorized a target picture as either attractive or unattractive as quickly as possible. In addition, in Study 2, participants rated the same faces on an attractiveness scale. While results of Study 1 showed that when faces were medium in skin tone, participants were more accurate when primed with a Eurocentric face responding to attractive targets, but also more accurate when primed with an Afrocentric face responding to unattractive targets, a more powerful Study 2 failed to replicate this effect. There was no relationship between participants’ explicit ratings of attractiveness and accuracy rates in the implicit attractiveness task.

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Journal of Social Psychology

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