NFL quarterbacks are better looking. Jan 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

We’re back after a short Christmas break to find out whether people who are good at sports are better looking than us average Joes. We also discover how preferences for facial masculinity are related to a person’s sexuality and their sensitivity to disgust.


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What's under the helmet? Williams and colleagues show that better quarterbacks tend to be better looking.

The articles covered in the show:

Glassenberg, A. N., Feinberg, D. R., Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., & DeBruine, L. M. (In Press). Sex-dimorphic face shape preference in heterosexual and homosexual men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

DeBruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., Tybur, J. M., Lieberman, D., & Griskevicius, V. (2010). Women's preferences for masculinity in male faces are predicted by pathogen disgust, but not by moral or sexual disgust. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(1), 69-74. Read summary

Williams, K. M., Park, J. H., & Wieling, M. B. (2010). The face reveals athletic flair: better National Football League quarterbacks are better looking. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(2), 112-116. Read summary

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The menstrual cycle and self esteem, with Sarah Hill. Nov 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

Why it can sometimes be good to have bad self esteem. We also find out how secret relationships can affect your health, and discover how waitresses can maximise their tips.


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Do women spend more time on their appearance when ovulating because they feel worse about themselves? New research by Sarah Hill and Kristina Durante suggests so.

The articles covered in the show:

Hill, S. E., & Durante, K. M. (In press). Do women feel worse to look their best? Testing the relationship between self-esteem and fertility status across the menstrual cycle. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Lynn, M. (2009). Determinants and consequences of female attractiveness and sexiness: realistic tests with restaurant waitresses. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(5), 737-745. Read summary

Lehmiller, J. L. (2009). Secret romantic relationships: consequences for personal and relational well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1452-1466. Read summary

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Kind men are attractive. And unattractive. At the same time. Oct 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

Why Ricky Gervais is ideal father material. We also find out why rebounding might be good for you, and not just on the basketball court, and we discover how kindness can be attractive and unattractive at the same time.


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Would Ricky and fellow comedians make good fathers?

The articles covered in the show:

Moore, F., Law Smith, M., Cassidy, C., & Perrett, D. (2009). Female reproductive strategy predicts preferences for sexual dimorphism in male faces. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 7(3), 211-224. Read summary

Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., & Wilson, A. E. (2009). On the rebound: focusing on someone new helps anxiously attached andividuals let go of ex-partners. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(10), 1382-1394. Read summary

Lukaszewski, A. W., & Roney, J. R. (In Press). Kind toward whom? Mate preferences for personality traits are target specific. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

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Is a pretty face more important than a beautiful body? Sept 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

Being watched by someone who’s attractive can make you more trustworthy. We also find out how the type of relationship you’re looking for might be related to your ability to read faces, and discover whether it’s the face or the body that contributes most to a person’s physical attractiveness.


If you'd like to see the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory used by Sacco, you can find it here.

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Face or body? Tom Currie and Tony Little have published new research showing whether the body or the face is more important to attractiveness.

The articles covered in the show:

Smith, F. G., DeBruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., Krupp, D. B., Welling, L. L. M., & Conway, C. A. (In Press). Attractiveness qualifies the effect of observation on trusting behavior in an economic game. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Sacco, D. F., Hugenberg, K., & Sefcek, J. A. (2009). Sociosexuality and face perception: unrestricted sexual orientation facilitates sensitivity to female facial cues. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 777-782. Read summary

Currie, T. E., & Little, A. C. (In Press). The relative importance of the face and body in judgments of human physical attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

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Humour and attraction, with Norm Li. Aug 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

With the exam results season well and truly upon us, we discover what your appearance might mean for your final grades. We also find out why it could make sense to ditch that diet: it seems men prefer average shaped women after all. And do you appreciate a GSOH? We learn how having a good sense of humour can affect your attractiveness – or should that be, how your attractiveness can affect your sense of humour?


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New research shows that pretty people don't need to revise as much for their exams.

The articles covered in the show:

Li, N. P., Griskevicius, V., Durante, K. M., Jonason, P. K., Pasisz, D. J., & Aumer, K. (2009). An evolutionary perspective on humor: sexual selection or interest indication? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(7), 923-936. Read summary

French, M. T., Robins, P. K., Homer, J. F., & Tapsell, L. M. (2009). Effects of physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming on academic performance in high school. Labour Economics, 16(4), 373-382. Read summary

Donohoe, M. L., von Hippel, W., & Brooks, R. C. (2009). Beyond waist-hip ratio: experimental multivariate evidence that average women's torsos are most attractive. Behavioral Ecology, 20, 716-721. Read summary

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I'm ovulating - time to slap on the make up! July 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

Beauty Wars - how competition between women for the best partner can affect men’s preferences. Also this month, we find out how makeup use changes over the menstrual cycle and whether more curvaceous women are worse at spotting a bad boy.


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That time of the month? New research suggests that women spend more time on their appearance when ovulating.

The articles covered in the show:

Röder, S., Brewer, G., & Fink, B. (2009). Menstrual cycle shifts in women’s self-perception and motivation: a daily report method. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(6), 616-619. Read summary

Fisher, M., & Cox, A. (2009). The influence of female attractiveness on competitor derogation. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 7(2), 141-155. Read summary

Smith, F. G., Jones, B. C., Welling, L. L. W., Little, A. C., Vukovic, J., Main, J. C., et al. (2009). Waist-hip ratio predicts women's preferences for masculine male faces, but not perceptions of men's trustworthiness. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(5), 476-480. Read summary

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Beauty and family size, with Markus Jokela. June 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

Does it pay to be pretty? I talk to Markus Jokela about his research into the link between attractiveness and how many children a person has. Also, do opposites really do attract, and what makes an effective chat up line?


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This month I talk to Markus Jokela about his new research, which shows that attractive people tend to have more children. But I guess Brad and Angie already knew that, right?

The articles covered in the show:

Jokela, M. (In Press). Physical attractiveness and reproductive success in humans: evidence from the late 20th century United States. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Judge, T. A., Hurst, C., & Simon, L. S. (2009). Does it pay to be smart, attractive, or confident (or all three)? Relationships among general mental ability, physical attractiveness, core self-evaluations, and income. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(3), 742-755. Read summary

van Straaten, I., Engels, R. C. M. E., Finkenauer, C., & Holland, R. W. (2009). Meeting your match: how attractiveness similarity affects approach behavior in mixed-sex dyads. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(6), 685-697. Read summary

Wade, T. J., Butrie, L. K., & Hoffman, K. M. (2009). Women’s direct opening lines are perceived as most effective. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(2), 145-149. Read summary

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I'm ovulating - let's boogie! May 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

How our feelings of attraction can be influenced by brain chemicals. Also, one night stand or long-term relationship: do the things we want from a partner change as we get older? We also discover how wearing sexy clothes makes our face more attractive. Plus, when is a woman most likely to agree to a dance or give out her phone number?


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Care to dance? New research by Nicolas Guéguen shows that women are more likely to agree to boogie with a man if they are near ovulation.

The articles covered in the show:

Theodoridou, A., Rowe, A. C., Penton-Voak, I. S., & Rogers, P. J. (2009). Oxytocin and social perception: oxytocin increases perceived facial trustworthiness and attractiveness. Hormones and Behavior. Read summary

Bleske-Rechek, A. L., Vanden-Heuvel, B., & Vander-Wyst, M. (2009). Age variation in mating strategies and mate preferences: beliefs versus reality. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(2), 179-205. Read article

Lõhmus, M., Sundström, L. F., & Björklund, M. (2009). Dress for success: human facial expressions are important signals of emotions. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 46(1), 75-80. Read article

Guéguen, N. (2009). Menstrual cycle phases and female receptivity to a courtship solicitation: an evaluation in a nightclub. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

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Attractive video game avatars make you feel better-looking IRL. April 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

In the first episode of the Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast we find out why women who are breastfeeding prefer a man with a higher pitched voice. Also, is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? How the appearance of your avatar in your favourite online game can affect your behaviour, even when you return to the real world. Plus, can we ignore facial beauty? We take a look at new research that shows nothing attracts attention like, well, attractiveness.


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The characteristics of the avatar you pick in World of Warcraft might rub off on your real-world personality.

You can also hear examples of the voices Apicella and Feinberg used in their study in their data supplement.

The articles covered in the show:

Apicella, C. L. & Feinberg, D. R. 2009 Voice pitch alters mate-choice-relevant perception in hunter-gatherers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 276, 1077-1082. Read summary

Yee, N., Bailenson, J. N. & Ducheneaut, N. 2009 The Proteus effect: implications of transformed digital self-representation on online and offline behavior. Communication Research 36, 285-312. Read summary

Sui, J. & Liu, C. H. 2009 Can beauty be ignored? Effects of facial attractiveness on covert attention. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 16, 276-81. Read summary

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Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 Rob 0 Comments

This is the blog for the Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast, a brand new science podcast that highlights the most interesting and cutting edge findings from the field of attractiveness psychology. Every month I'll unmask the science of beauty, covering all aspects of human attractiveness, from faces and bodies to personality and behaviour, and examine how these traits can impact upon our feelings of jealousy, lust and love.

As well as posting the episode MP3s, I'll also provide links to the studies covered in the show so you can follow up the research after you're done listening. If you'd like to get in touch, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or email podcast [at-sign] robertburriss.com

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