Skip to main content

The valence-dominance model applies to body perception.

Tzschaschel, E., Brooks, K. R. and Stephen, I. D., 2022. The valence-dominance model applies to body perception. Royal Society Open Science, 9 (9), 220594.

Full text available as:

The valence-dominance model applies to body perception.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1098/rsos.220594


First impressions of a person, including social judgements, are often based on appearance. The widely accepted valence-dominance model of face perception (Oosterhof and Todorov 2008 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 11 087-11 092 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0805664105)) posits that social judgements of faces fall along two orthogonal dimensions: trustworthiness (valence) and dominance. The current study aimed to establish the principal components of social judgements based on the perception of bodies, hypothesizing that these would follow the same dimensions as face perception. Stimuli were black and white photographs showing bodies dressed in grey clothing, standing in their natural posture, in left profile. Raters (N = 237) judged the stimuli on the 14 traits used in Oosterhof and Todorov's original study (Oosterhof and Todorov 2008 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 11 087-11 092 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0805664105)). Data were analysed using principal component analysis (PCA), as in the original study, with an additional exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using oblique rotation. While PCA produced a third dimension in line with several replications of the original study, results from the EFA produced two dimensions, representing trustworthiness and dominance, providing support for the hypothesis that social perceptions of bodies can be summarized using the valence-dominance model. These two factors could represent universal perceptions we have about people. Future research could explore social judgements of humans based on other stimuli, such as voices or body odour, to evaluate whether the trustworthiness and dominance dimensions are consistent across modalities.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:body perception; perception; social judgements; valence-dominance model
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:39373
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:11 Jan 2024 10:19
Last Modified:11 Jan 2024 10:19


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -