Kin recognition signals in adult faces

Lisa M. DeBruine, Finlay G. Smith, Benedict C. Jones, S. Craig Roberts, Marion Petrie, Tim D. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Maloney and Dal Martello [Maloney, L.T., Dal Martello, M.F. (2006). Kin recognition and the perceived facial similarity of children. Journal of Vision, 6(10), 1047-1056.] reported that similarity ratings of pairs of related and unrelated children were almost perfect predictors of the probability that those children were judged as being siblings by a second group of observers. Surprisingly, similarity ratings were poor predictors of whether a pair was same-sex or opposite-sex, suggesting that people ignore cues that are uninformative about kinship when making similarity judgments of faces. Using adult sibling faces, we find that similarity ratings for same-sex pairs were significantly higher than for opposite-sex pairs, suggesting that similarity judgments of adult faces are not entirely synonymous with kinship judgments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalVision Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • face perception
  • kin recognition
  • resemblance
  • similarity


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