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Facing fitness: Does asymmetrical posing in portraits reflect fitness?

Kroezen, J.P.P. (2009) Facing fitness: Does asymmetrical posing in portraits reflect fitness? Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Cerebral lateralization is the specialization of one cerebral halve to perform a set of tasks that is not present in the other halve. Cerebral lateralization also accounts for motor asymmetries such as those in facial expressions. It is well known that the left facial halve is perceived as more emotionally expressed. This is caused by the quicker and stronger expression of emotions on this side of the face because the right hemisphere is usually specialised in ‘emotions’ and the hemispheres control the motor responses of the contralateral side of the body. The differences in facial asymmetry account for various differences in posing behaviour. In normal portraits of people a leftward bias is observed and thought to exist because normally you want to pose in such a way that your emotional side is visible. But in portraits of university professors a rightward bias is observed, leading to the thought that scientists are more likely to show their rational (non-emotional), ‘scientific’ right side. The existence of lateralization suggests that there are fitness advantages to lateralization. I investigated the relationship between laterality in posing bias and fitness components in a database containing portraits of Dutch politicians as well as fitness measurements such as longevity, number of children etc. Firstly a leftward bias in portraits was observed, suggesting that politicians also want to show their emotional side to the observer. Secondly I found that Dutch politicians had a very high average longevity, showing their high socio-economic status. Thirdly, the data showed that from which side the lighting came from had a positive effect on which cheek was shown more pronounced. Fourthly, ministers had a lower proportion of rightward portraits and in general the rightward bias increased in time. With respect to fitness models posing with their left eye higher had a greater chance of being unmarried and longevity had a positive correlation with the midpoint of their active carreer and being a minister, but there was no relation with laterality in posing.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:28

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