A number of studies have shown that current-trial responses are biased toward the response of the preceding trial in perceptual decisionmaking tasks (the sequential effectöHolland and Lockhead, 1968 Perception & Psychophysics 3 409-414). The sequential effect has been widely observed in evaluation of the physical properties of stimuli as well as more complex properties. However, it is unclear whether subjective decisions (eg attractiveness judgments) are also susceptible to the sequential effect. Here, we examined whether the sequential effect would occur in face-attractiveness judgments. Forty-eight pictures of male and female faces were presented successively. Participants rated the attractiveness of each face on a 7-point scale. The results showed that the attractiveness rating of a given face assimilated toward the rating of the preceding trial. In a separate experiment, we provided the average attractiveness rating by others for each trial as feedback. The feedback weakened the sequential effect. These findings suggest that attractiveness judgment is also biased toward the preceding judgment, and hence the sequential effect can be extended into the domain of subjective decisionmaking.
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