Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 321–336 | Cite as

A Review of Attractiveness Preferences in Infancy: From Faces to Objects

  • Fabrice Damon
  • Hélène Mottier
  • David Méary
  • Olivier Pascalis


Despite some interpersonal variability, judgments of facial attractiveness are largely shared by most individuals, both within and between cultures. Infants are also sensitive to attractive faces even before being influenced by cultural standards of beauty. The intercultural agreement on this matter and its emergence during infancy suggest an evolutionary basis for facial attractiveness. Sensitivity to facial attractiveness is typically understood through evolutionary-based frameworks, either reflecting mate selection mechanisms or emerging as by-products of brain processing and perceptual sensory biases. In the current article, we review data on the emergence and the development of attractiveness preferences in infants, focusing on mechanisms that may explain or contribute to these preferences such as familiarity or fluency in processing. We further discuss the possibility that infants’ preference for attractiveness could extend to other stimuli than faces like objects or visual art. Potential directions for future research are proposed for developmental and comparative approaches.


Attractiveness Infants Visual preferences Faces Objects 


Compliance with ethical standards

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Grenoble-Alpes, LPNCGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.LPNC, CNRS, UMR 5105GrenobleFrance

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