Friday, August 26, 2005

No Adjustment Needed

BACKGROUND: When we view other people we automatically assess their physical characteristics. We measure each other. This information falls into distribution of our experience that we use to determine beauty valuations. I have previously assumed that we adjust for angle. Meaning if a face is slightely turned, like they say you should do for photographs, then the mind would adjust for the angle so all measurements would be on a similiar basis. This assumption is false. The mind does not adjust for angle, instead measurements are taken as presented. This dawned on me as I was setting up a set of test data for an experiment, I was working on the simple formula for conversion of measurements based on camera angle when I realized that this would ignore several observable phenomena.

1. Profile. The experience of finding someone more attractive, or less, when viewing their profile.

2. Angle. The common wisdom suggesting that pictures taken at a slight horizontal angle and vertically positive angle will increase the attractiveness of a photograph. This also led to a line of questioning to discover how these two positive angles evolved (I will address in another post).

3. Looks Like. The experience of catching an acquaintance at a certain viewing angle and it reminding you of a famous person, or of one of their relatives.

TRANSITION: Examples such as these convinced me that I was offtrack in my assumptions of viewing angle correction. This will, of course, change all of my testing plans, but the significant impact comes from the questions the revelation generates.

1. Perfect Angle. There could be a specific angle for which any person's features will lay closer to average for a given distribution. So depending on the desired viewing audience, an angle could be mathmatically figured for a photograph to have the desired level of effect.

2. Profile Check. This is really just an extreme angle. Calculations could be made in the same way to determine the exact beauty value of a person's profile given a specific population's distribution.

3. Impersonation. Certain angles, expressions, and facial positions will make an impersonator look more like their subject thus increasing effectiveness.

CURRENT: Angle provides different measurements for the same person. This is not only limited to angle either; facial expressions and postion, lighting, glasses, hats, etc. All of these items produce new experiences for the viewers minds to measure and include in their evaluations of the individual. Precise calculations can be made to set these variables to produce exact viewing experiences. Basically, this would allow tuning of someone's beauty for a given audience, giving us control like we've never known over the perceptive experience.

No comments: