Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Annotated Bib #1: The Power of the Facial Turn

Churches O., Callahan R, Michalski D, Brewer N, Turner E, et al. (2012) How Academics Face the World: A Study of 5829 Homepage Pictures. PLoS ONE 7(7): e38940. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038940.

Owen Churches and his fellow researchers set out to discover how “professional academics in the arts and sciences choose to display themselves to the world via their most visible public picture: their personal homepage portrait housed on their University’s website” (1-2).  Darwin was the first to show that the left side of the face is more expressive through increased muscle movement than the right side.  When applying this biological difference to the visual, Lindell and Savill (2010) showed that people interpret pictures of faces depending on which side of the face is turned towards the camera.  People with the right side facing the camera are seen as scientific, and those with the left side most visible are judged to be humanities-oriented (1).