Skip to comments.Caltech Study: Close-Up Photos Make People Appear Less Attractive, Trustworthy
Posted on 09/26/2012 4:30:18 PM PDT by BenLurkin
PASADENA (CBSLA.com) A photo taken at close range can make the subject look suspicious and unattractive, according to a new study out of Caltech.
Caltech researchers have determined that, because of a phenomenon they call distance warping, participants judged people whose photographs were taken at a distance of, say, two feet to be less trustworthy, less attractive and less competent.
It turns out that faces photographed quite close-up are geometrically warped, compared to photos taken at a larger distance, Caltech grad student and researcher Ronnie Bryan said. Of course, the close picture would also normally be larger, higher resolution and have different lighting but we controlled for all of that in our study.
What youre left with is a warping effect that is so subtle that nobody in our study actually noticed it, Bryan said.
The study was inspired by Pietro Perona, a professor of electrical engineering and an art history enthusiast. Perona suspected that Renaissance portrait paintings featured subtle geometric warping of faces to make the viewer feel closer or more distant to a subject.
Opinions on 36 photographs two photos of 18 people were gathered by Bryan and Ralph Adolphs, a Bren professor of psychology and neuroscience and biology. The photographs were taken at a distance of two feet or inside a persons personal space and at seven feet.
Close-up photos made one man look more sinister, but in a photo taken at a distance, he appeared friendlier and better looking. Could distance warping be why all police mug shots make just about anyone look suspicious?
This was a surprising, and surprisingly reliable, effect, Adolphs said. We went through a bunch of experiments, some testing people in the lab, and some even over the Internet; we asked participants to rate trustworthiness of faces, and in some experiments we asked them to invest real money in unfamiliar people whose faces they saw as a direct measure of how much they trusted them.
The study, Perspective Distortion from Interpersonal Distance Is an Implicit Visual Cue for Social Judgments of Faces, was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
“The study, Perspective Distortion from Interpersonal Distance Is an Implicit Visual Cue for Social Judgments of Faces, was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.”
I wonder how much taxpayer $$ was WASTED by our gummint to come up with this BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) that any Photography 101 student could have told them.
Practical translation: Girls look cuter from across the room.
I literally scare my youngest grand-daughter when she sees me. How cool is that? (grandsons think so).
Obama is eye candy at any distance. Just ask him.
Here she is pictured through a video viewfinder as she spoke during a news
conference in Amman September 16, 2010. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji (JORDAN)
60 Minutes does this. Newspapers do as well to Republicsns. Other trick is to show them speaking with mouths open.
Look through the shots of Romney and compare to Obama in MSM. Ridiculous.
Not the purpose of the study, although I agree beers can help for CQB. Across the room gets you started—”Can I buy you a beer?”. Close up helps you keep it going.
There is a racial interpretation here. Some races have a sort of pinched face with small features, other races have expanded facial features — big protruding noses. So are Nordics more apparently trustworthy than Arabs?
“They Live” (1988)
This is nothing new. Newspapers and politicians have known this for years. Another trick is to take the photo at a low angle, pointing the lens up into the subject’s face. They used to do that to George Wallace all the time. That will make anyone look creepy and sinister.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.