Beautiful people live in beautiful homes. March 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014 Rob 6 Comments

Is our attractiveness influenced by the rugs on our floors or the art on our walls? Are we more jealous when we're surrounded by people of the same or opposite sex? And we discover why younger fathers have better looking kids.

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Are people more attractive if they are photographed in a luxury apartment, rather than a standard $40 a week rat-hole with no functioning internet? New research by Michael Dunn of Cardiff Metropolitan University suggests the answer is yes: but only if you're a man.

The articles covered in the show:

Arnocky, S., Ribout, A., Mirza, R. S., & Knack, J. M. (2014). Perceived mate availability influences intrasexual competition, jealousy and mate-guarding behavior. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 12(1), 45-64. Read summary

Dunn, M. J., & Hill, A. (2014). Manipulated luxury-apartment ownership enhances opposite-sex attraction in females but not males. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 12(1), 1-17. Read summary

Huber, S., & Fielder, M. (in press). Advanced paternal age is associated with lower facial attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary


  1. No disrespect (and I haven't heard this episode, as I just now discovered the PoA podcast), but if you're referencing U.S. dollars, no one pays $40 a week for rent. A one-bedroom apartment like the one shown would cost at least $600 a month even in a less-expensive city or town, and possibly twice that much or more in a large city. Poor people often spend 75% of their earnings on rent.

  2. It was a joke. Please rest assured that I am not an idiot.

  3. Is there any research on the attractiveness of siblings that might shed light on the parental age data? - Chris J

  4. Hi Chris,

    Not that I know of. In fact, there is very little research on siblings (on the topic of attractiveness, I mean), partly because it is just very difficult to recruit them. Most of our participants are uni students, and very few uni students are able (or can be persuaded) to bring their siblings into the lab.

    The only sibling datasets I know of have been used to investigate intrasexual conflict (you can google that for a better definition than I can give). The general idea has been to test whether masculine brothers have masculine sisters, and vice versa. Results are mixed.

  5. I just discovered this podcast and I totally love it! I have always been interested in human behavior. This podcast seems to be more in depth then the regular science documentaries I've watch in the past. I will definitely be back.

  6. Thanks, Sola! There should be more than enough episodes in the back catalogue to keep you going.


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