The ‘Johnyy Depp Effect’ doesn’t always work on women

Washington D.C, March 1. (ANI): A recent psychology research provides a new explanation for why the “Johnny Depp Effect,” which involves women tending to prefer men with more feminine faces, holds in some contexts, but not in others.

The international research team has found that when people are asked to rate the attractiveness of gender-blended face morphs they tend to judge them as less appealing if they are first asked to classify the face as male or female.

Across two separate experiments, gender blends were disliked when, and only when, the faces were first categorised by gender, despite an overall preference of the participants for more feminine features.

Study co-author Professor Jamin Halberstadt says that “processing fluency”, i.e., how easy it is to perceive, process, and categorise something, appears to account for this effect.

In the second experiment, in which some participants were first asked to categorise gender-ambiguous faces by ethnicity, they did not subsequently judge the gender blends as less appealing.

This suggests that it is not merely a general aversion to facial ambiguity that is responsible for the effect.

The study has been published in PLOS ONE. (ANI)

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