DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-2-240-249


Khrisanfova Ludmila Arkad’evna
Ph.D. in Psychology, Docent, Associate Professor
of the Department of General and Social Psychology

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod,
23, Gagarin av., Nizhny Novgorod, 603950, Russia;
ORCID: 0000-0001-6697-7939

The article presents results of a comparative study on the characteristics of eye movement of Caucasian subjects as a response to looking at photos of Caucasian and Mongoloid faces. The subjects were expected to assess a number of psychological qualities of people in the photos — their activity, tenseness and attractiveness. A set of photos of real people aged 20–30 with Caucasian and Mongoloid faces was used as stimuli. The subjects were 23 Caucasians aged 18–22. The study objectives were to confirm the hypothesis about some common, «universal» patterns of looking at a human face irrespective of its owner’s race, to identify the characteristics of a human face perception depending on the particular race, as well as to identify a particular strategy of looking at a human face in the course of dealing with various assigned tasks.

Our findings show that 1) when dealing with Mongoloid faces, an extended pattern of a human face examination is more common: the face as a whole – the right eye – the left eye – the nose – the lips; 2) for Caucasian subjects, the Fixation Time Average (ms) is longer for the left eye when they look at Caucasian faces, while it is not so when the subjects examine Mongoloid faces; 3) when the subjects are assessing the activity of an individual in the photo, the Fixation Time Average is longer for the Mongoloid faces’ right eye zone, while for Caucasian faces the focus is still on the left eye zone; 4) when the subjects are assessing tenseness of individuals in the photos, the Fixation Time Average is the longest for the left eye and nose zones, both for Caucasian faces (with significant values), and Mongoloid faces (as a trend); 5) when the subjects are assessing attractiveness, the fixation zones are the same as those for assessing tenseness (the left eye and nose zones) for Caucasian faces, while for Mongoloid faces the face as a whole is examined longer (i.e., other face zones — eyebrows, forehead, cheeks etc.). The results are valuable for research into perception of an individual’s personal characteristics and qualities while examining their face, as well as perception of human faces of different races.

Keywords: perception of a face, face zones, Caucasian race, Mongoloid race, eye tracking, eye movements, activity, tenseness, attractiveness.


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The date of the manuscript receipt 17.02.2017

Please cite this article in English as:

Khrisanfova L.A. Fixation time average in Caucasians’ perception of Caucasian and Mongoloid faces // Perm University Herald. Series «Philosophy. Psychology. Sociology». 2017. Iss.2. P.240–249. DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-2-240-249

* Исследование выполнено при поддержке гранта РГНФ № 14-06-00670 «Социально-перцептивная компетентность в структуре межэтнического общения» (Институт психологии РАН).

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