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.

Subscribe using the links on the right and interact by leaving a comment or emailing podcast [at-sign] robertburriss.com

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

June 2011: Do siblings match in beauty?

Does being attractive always help? We discover the social advantages that come with being slightly less than supermodel material. Also, do attractive people have attractive brothers and sisters, and where are all the female comedians? Do women prefer hearing jokes to telling them?

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Same-sex siblings, like the Kardashian sisters, tend to be similar in attractiveness. But what about opposite-sex siblings?

If you find the section on humour interesting, you might like this episode in which I interview Norm Li about his humour research.

The articles covered in the show:

Agthe, M., Spörrle, M., & Maner, J. K. (2011). Does being attractive always help? Positive and negative effects of attractiveness on social decision making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(8), 1042-1054. Read summary

Garver-Apgar, C. E., Eaton, M. A., Tybur, J. M., & Emery Thompson, M. (in press). Evidence of intralocus sexual conflict: physically and hormonally masculine individuals have more attractive brothers relative to sisters. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Wilbur, C. J., & Campbell, L. (2011). Humor in romantic contexts: Do men participate and women evaluate? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(7), 918-929. Read summary

Friday, 3 June 2011

June 2011 special: The Kanazawa Controversy

Satoshi Kanazawa's recent blog post “Why black women are less physically attractive than other women” has ignited a firestorm of protest across the web. In this special episode, we find out if his controversial claim stands up to scrutiny.

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In this special episode I talk with biological anthropologist Mark Shriver, Nanjala Nyabola, an Oxford graduate student who wrote a comment piece for the Guardian about Kanazawa's article, and psychologists Scott Barry Kaufman and Jelte Wicherts, who blogged about the controversy here and here and also reanalysed the original data. You can read Kanazawa's blog post here.

A graph from the reanalysis of Kanazawa's data by Wicherts and Kaufman, illustrating the lack of a difference in perceived attractiveness amongst women of different ethnic backgrounds (click to enlarge).