What is this?

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, a research fellow at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK.

If you prefer to read rather than listen, you can find a text version of the podcast here.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

February 2011: Ian Stephen on skin tanning

Skin colour special! What’s behind the current fashion for skin tanning, and why do some people go to greater lengths to obtain a bronzed body? I speak to Dr. Ian Stephen of Nottingham University about whether a tan really does look healthy and attractive.

Example images from Stephen's paper that got the Guardian's commenters all flustered. The face in the middle shows the woman's natural colour. The face on the left shows the effect of sun tanning, while the face on the right shows the effect of eating more carotenoids. Participants thought the carotenoid colour looked healthier.

Download the MP3

The articles covered in the show:

Hill, S. E., & Durante, K. M. (2011). Courtship, competition, and the pursuit of attractiveness: Mating goals facilitate health-related risk taking and strategic risk suppression in women. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(3), 383-394. Read summary

Stephen, I. D., Coetzee, V., & Perrett, D. I. (in press). Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

I've got a couple of new online studies you might want to take a look at. Here's one on crime, convicts and culpability and another on attractiveness and your ideal partner.