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This is the blog for the Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast, a monthly science show that covers the most interesting and cutting edge research on the psychology of attraction and relationships.

The podcast is produced by Dr. Rob Burriss of RobertBurriss.com, a research fellow at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK.

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Monday, 8 February 2010

February 2010: The golden ratio

Is there a universal 'golden ratio' that explains facial attractiveness? We also discover how the behaviours people use to keep their partner from leaving them change over time, and whether waitresses who wear makeup can expect larger tips.

Download the MP3

The articles covered in the show:

Pallett, P. M., Link, S., & Lee, K. (2010). New "golden" ratios for facial beauty. Vision Research, 50(2), 149-154. Read summary

Kaighobadi, F., Shackelford, T. K., & Buss, D. M. (2010). Spousal mate retention in the newlywed year and three years later. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(4), 414-418. Read summary

Jacob, C., Gu├ęguen, N., Boulbry, G., & Ardiccioni, R. (2010). Waitresses' facial cosmetics and tipping: A field experiment. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(1), 188-190. Read summary

To show you the kind of manipulation Pallett applied to her images in her study of optimal ratios for facial attractiveness, I knocked up a couple of examples using everybody's favourite romcom 'actor', Matthew McConnawhatever.


Matthew McConaughey with his eye-mouth to face-height ratio altered. The image in the middle is the real one, with Matthew's .38 ratio close to the average of .36.


Matthew McConaughey with his eye-eye to face-width ratio altered. This time his real ratio is .47, almost dead on the average of .46.