Facial redness increases men’s perceived healthiness and attractiveness

Christopher A. Thorstenson, Adam D. Pazda, Andrew J. Elliot, David Ian Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Past research has shown that peripheral and facial redness influences perceptions of attractiveness for men viewing women. The current research investigated whether a parallel effect is present when women rate men with varying facial redness. In four experiments, women judged the attractiveness of men’s faces, which were presented with varying degrees of redness. We also
examined perceived healthiness and other candidate variables as mediators of the red attractiveness effect. The results show that facial redness positively influences ratings of men’s attractiveness. Additionally, perceived healthiness was documented as a mediator of this effect, independent of other potential mediator variables. The current research emphasizes facial coloration as an important feature of social judgments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-664
Issue number6
Early online date24 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Facial coloration
  • Red
  • Attractiveness
  • Healthiness
  • Social perception


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