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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

In Your Face

The new science of human attraction

ISBN 9780230201293
Publication Date August 2010
Formats Hardcover Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

In our daily lives, in our memories and fantasies, our mental worlds overflow with faces. But what do we really know about this most remarkable feature of the human body? Why do we have faces at all, and brains that are good at reading them? What do our looks say – and not say – about our personalities?

And perhaps the most compelling question of all: Why are we attracted to some faces more than others? 'In Your Face' is an engaging and authoritative tour of the science of facial beauty and face perception.

David Perrett, the pre-eminent scholar in the field, reveals and interprets the most remarkable findings and in the process demolishes many popular myths, setting the record straight on what neuroscience and evolutionary psychology are teaching us about beauty. The record is more surprising and often more unsettling than you might think.

DAVID PERRETT is Professor of Psychology at the University of St Andrews, UK and currently holds a British Academy Wolfson Research Professorship to work on the perception of health in faces. He received the 'Golden Brain' award for his discoveries about the way the brain processes faces and pioneered the use of computer graphics to study the perception of facial attributes such as beauty, health and personality. He is the editor of Processing the Facial Image and Brain Mechanisms for Perception and Memory: From Neuron to Behaviour.

Fish face: A brief tour of the face and its origins
Seeing faces: How we recognize faces and why we like them
A baby's bias: How we are attracted to faces from birth
Beauty in balance: The proportions that really are universally attractive
His and hers: How sex hormones influence our looks and our attraction to others
The point of beauty: Why facial attractiveness matters in the long run
Fit face: How our health is reflected in our faces
Wither the face: On the cuteness of babies and the effects of time
Faces with attitude: How the personality we seek in a partner guides our face tastes
All in the family: How parents and peers shape our attraction to faces
Love potions: Transforming attraction to love


Let's face it. David Perrett has written a truly compelling book. Chock full of science, but reader-friendly and entertaining. Now I have a new perspective on my own crooked smile and have learned many other fascinating things related to faces. Highly recommended.' Professor Joseph LeDoux, author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self.
'An engaging revelation of the biology and psychology behind facial beauty, but be warned: In Your Face may reveal some surprising truths about why we are attracted to others.' Bruce Hood, author of Super Sense and Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol.'[An] exuberant account from the frontiers of science.' - Human Givens
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