Date of Graduation

Summer 2015


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

D. Wayne Mitchell


Facial features play an important role in recognition of faces. Previous research has suggested a preference for and a positive response to infantile facial features. This study tested the effect of infantile feature preferences, via a delayed match to sample recognition memory task on adult response latency (RL) and visual scanning (VS) using adult and inanimate face stimuli. It was hypothesized that the RL would be slower when participants were familiarized with a face containing non-infantile features and asked to make a decision between the same face and a similar face with enhanced infantile features. No significant infantile feature preferences were found. However, there were significant differences (faster RL) across trials, particularly for inanimate faces. It is argued that these changes in RL reflect a shift from featural to configural processing of face stimuli. Also, it was found that males had significantly slower RL on adult infantile faces than females. In concordance with other research of feature processing, VS was significantly greater for eyes than mouth features on both adult and inanimate faces.


infantile feature preference, perceptual bias, facial features, face processing, recognition of faces

Subject Categories



© Kirsty Mae Kulhanek

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