Facial skin condition, health and perception in Malaysian Chinese

Tan, Kok Wei (2016) Facial skin condition, health and perception in Malaysian Chinese. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Skin texture and colour play an important role in the judgment of apparent health (Fink, Grammer, & Thornhill, 2001; Jones, Little, Burt, & Perrett, 2004; Matts, Fink, Grammer, & Burquest, 2007; Samson, Fink, & Matts, 2010; Stephen, Coetzee, Law Smith, & Perrett, 2009a; Stephen, Coetzee, & Perrett, 2011), and have been linked to aspects of physiological health, including fitness, immunity and fertility (Armstrong & Welsman, 2001; Jones et al., 2015; Stephen et al., 2011).

The current thesis examines the contribution of skin condition to health perception in Malaysian Chinese. The thesis comprises six chapters. Chapter one offers a general introduction to the topic. It outlines key literature on health perception, and explains the research problem, the objectives and relevance of the studies conducted.

Chapter 2 consists of three studies which examine Malaysian Chinese participants’ perception of apparent health. The three studies revealed the significance of both skin texture, and skin colour in forming health perceptions. Examining the sensitivity threshold of human vision to colour changes, Chapter 3 discovered that individuals tend to be more sensitive to changes in redness and yellowness than luminance; and this extra-sensitivity in chrominance is specific to the perception of human faces, and not non-face objects or colour patches.

Following the finding of preference for slightly yellower skin, Chapter 4 reported a supplementation study, whereby an increment in skin yellowness and redness was observed for participants who were prescribed the fruit and vegetable smoothie (and not for the control group). Using the face images obtained in the intervention study, the three perceptual studies in Chapter 5 were designed to examine the amount of carotenoid colouration that is needed to optimize healthy appearance of Malaysian Chinese faces. Too much colour change was not preferred and, in the last study, it seems that the appropriate amount of carotenoid colouration preferred is only one third of the amount observed in the intervention study.

Collectively, these nine studies deepen our knowledge of health perception, especially the importance of skin colour in determining perceived human facial health. Implications and suggestions for future research are presented in Chapter 6.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Stephen, Ian
Keywords: physiological health, visual perception, consciousness, neuropsychology
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology > QP351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 31476
Depositing User: TAN, KOK WEI
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2017 03:38
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 14:16
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31476

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