He’s made average images from a series of female faces but divided them up into the scoring categories, so there’s an average of faces rated 5 to 5.4, 5.5 to 5.9 and so on.
The average image of the highest rated faces, and an average of faces from all rating categories are shown on the left, although the whole range is on Tourigny’s Flickr page.
If you do have a look at the full series, you’ll notice that the overall average face seems more attractive than the composite face created from images rated in the average range (5-5.4).
Previously on Mind Hacks, we reported on research that suggested that faces created from the average of many others possibly seem more beautiful because they’re easier for the brain to process.
This may be because our brain does a similar averaging process to create a ‘face template’ which we use during face recognition.
Faces that deviate least from this template are easier to match and, therefore, tend to be seen as more attractive.
This, of course, is not the complete story as cultural ideas of what is considered beautiful and perhaps even specific ways in which a face could differ from the ‘template’ might also contribute to our subjective perception of beauty.