Are effects of emotion expression on Trait Impressions mediated by babyfaceness? evidence from connectionist modeling

Leslie A. Zebrowitz, Masako Kikuchi, Jean Marc Fellous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


Two studies provided evidence that bolsters the Marsh, Adams, and Kleck hypothesis that the morphology of certain emotion expressions reflects an evolved adaptation to mimic babies or mature adults. Study 1 found differences in emotion expressions' resemblance to babies using objective indices of babyfaceness provided by connectionist models that are impervious to overlapping cultural stereotypes about babies and the emotions. Study 2 not only replicated parallels between impressions of certain emotions and babies versus adults but also showed that objective indices of babyfaceness partially mediated impressions of the emotion expressions. babyface effects were independent of strong effects of attractiveness, and babyfaceness did not mediate impressions of happy expressions, to which the evolutionary hypothesis would not apply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-662
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007



  • Attractiveness
  • Babyfaceness
  • Connectionist modeling
  • Emotion expressions
  • Face perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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