Smiling and beauty. July 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013 Rob 2 Comments

Why we prefer our partners to be more like us, and why we want to be more like our rivals. Also, new research on emotional expression and beauty that gives us all something to smile about.

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New research shows that smiling makes you more attractive than a grumpy beauty. So turn that frown upside down! Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Laeng, B., Vermeer, O., & Sulutvedt, U. (2013). Is beauty in the face of the beholder? PLoS One, 8(7), e68395. Read summary

Slotter, E. B., Lucas, G. M., Jakubiak, B., & Lasslett, H. (in press). Changing me to keep you: State jealousy promotes perceiving similarity between the self and a romantic rival. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Golle, J., Mast, F. W., & Lobmaier, J. S. (in press). Something to smile about: The interrelationship between attractiveness and emotional expression. Cognition & Emotion. Read summary


  1. Do you think that perhaps the women liked the mixed faces more, not due to their desiring to mate with the person, but because women are somehow programmed to like their face melded with their partner's face because that's what the children would look like? I imagine that what is attractive is relative, in that a woman may consider attractive whatever she is drawn to, and her child's face would attract her in some way.

  2. It's a possibility, but we would probably not expect (nulliparous) women to have an idea in their heads of what their children with their current partner look like. But they might - I don't think anyone has tested that.

    It is true that attractiveness is relative, and that familiarity is attractive: women may come to prefer their partner's traits more once their relationship has started.


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