Facial Perceptions: Age's Influence on People's Perceptions of Facial Modifications

  • Nascine Howell Vanderbilt University
  • Lindsey Erin Overhalser Vanderbilt University
  • Abigail Eliza Randall Vanderbilt University
  • Rachael Dillon Vanderbilt University


A 2x7 between-subject experiment examined the affect of age on people’s perceptions of facial modifications. Researchers instructed participants aged 18-60 to complete two online surveys. One survey contained 10 modified faces (facial piercings and neck tattoos) and the second survey contained 10 non-modified faces. Participants were instructed to look at each face and rate the face using a 5 point Likert scale on five traits: Trustworthiness, Attractiveness, Confidence, Intelligence and Friendliness. Modified faces were rated higher and perceived more positively than the non-modified faces by participants in all age groups. There was an effect of modification on age groups one (18-23 years old), two (24-29 years), five (30-35 years) and six (36-41 years) for the traits Attractiveness and Confidence. These findings suggest people’s perception of strangers’ is influenced by their own age at the time of the encounter and the age of the faces.

Author Biography

Nascine Howell, Vanderbilt University
Nascine Howell is the primary author/writer of the research paper "Facial Perceptions: Age's Influence on People's Perceptions of Facial Modifications". She is currently a Junior majoring in Psychology.
How to Cite
HOWELL, Nascine et al. Facial Perceptions: Age's Influence on People's Perceptions of Facial Modifications. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 6, may 2010. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <http://vurj.vanderbilt.edu/index.php/vurj/article/view/2889>. Date accessed: 28 may 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v6i0.2889.
Engineering and Natural Sciences


Facial Modifications; tattoos; perceptions; facial perceptions; age; body piercings