The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

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Latest Podcast Episodes

Listeners' choice! Why we stay single. 11 Apr 2017
11 Apr 2017 @ 06:00 am

For the first time, I hand over editorial control to you, the listeners of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Supporters of the podcast on Patreon have chosen what we'll discuss in today's show. Thanks to them, we'll find out why people choose to stay single, and how sex makes men immoral.

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Why Does Anyone Stay Single?
Femme Fatale: Sexy Women Make Men do Bad Things


It wasn’t until dusk that Emma accepted her wedding day hadn’t gone exactly to plan. Bobby Bradley/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Apostolou, M. (2017). Why people stay single: An evolutionary perspective. Personality and Individual Differences, 111, 263-271. Read summary

Chiou, W.-B., Wu, W.-H., & Cheng, W. (in press). Sexy women can tempt men down the road of immorality: Exposure to sexy stimuli leads to increased dishonesty in men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Sexting and phubbing: New technology and dating. 14 Mar 2017
14 Mar 2017 @ 05:00 am

How do mobile phones improve and damage our relationships? We look at a study of sexting among high school students, and find out about 'phubbing': a modern relationship behaviour you have almost certainly experienced.

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How Popular is Sexting?
Phubbing and Relationship Satisfaction

How do mobile phones improve (and damage) relationships? L'oeil étranger/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Strassberg, D. S., Cann, D., & Velarde, V. (in press). Sexting by high school students. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Wang, X., Xie, X., Wang, Y., Wang, P., & Lei, L. (2017). Partner phubbing and depression among married Chinese adults: The roles of relationship satisfaction and relationship length. Personality and Individual Differences, 110, 12-17. Read summary

BONUS: Personality and intimate relationships. 21 Feb 2017
21 Feb 2017 @ 06:00 am

Some of you may know that last summer I started a new job at Basel University in Switzerland. During the autumn semester, I taught a class on personality and intimate relationships. One thing I had the class do is read research papers and prepare short written assignments on them, in a style similar to my podcast. Several of the students also recorded their assignments, so here is a special bonus episode featuring their work. Almost none of the students are native English speakers, and until now most had summarised research only in formal scientific language, so the project was a real challenge. I am very proud of the effort they put in and hope you enjoy this bonus podcast.

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Basel! Thomas Mulchi/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Michelle:
Paw?owski, B., & Jasienska, G. (2008). Women's body morphology and preferences for sexual partners' characteristics. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(1), 19-25. Read summary

Ting:
Lill, M. M., & Wilkinson, T. J. (2005). Judging a book by its cover: descriptive survey of patients' preferences for doctors' appearance and mode of address. BMJ, 331(7531), 1524-1527. Read summary

Hanna:
Maybach, K. L., & Gold, S. R. (1994). Hyperfemininity and attraction to macho and non?macho men. The Journal of Sex Research, 31(2), 91-98. Read summary

Sou Bouy:
Nordsletten, A. E., Larsson, H., & Crowley, J. J. (2016). Patterns of nonrandom mating within and across 11 major psychiatric disorders. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(4), 354-361. Read summary

Dania:
Schützwohl, A., & Koch, S. (2004). Sex differences in jealousy: The recall of cues to sexual and emotional infidelity in personally more and less threatening context conditions. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(4), 249-257. Read summary

Alina and Dominik:
Mark, K. P., Janssen, E., & Milhausen, R. R. (2011). Infidelity in heterosexual couples: Demographic, interpersonal, and personality-related predictors of extradyadic sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 971-982. Read summary

Daphne:
Campbell, L., & Kohut, T. (2017). The use and effects of pornography in romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 6-10. Read summary

Leonie:
Cravens, J. D., & Whiting, J. B. (2014). Clinical implications of internet infidelity: Where Facebook fits in. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42(4), 325-339. Read summary

Emily:
McDaniel, B. T., Drouin, M., & Cravens, J. D. (2017). Do you have anything to hide? Infidelity-related behaviors on social media sites and marital satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 88-95. Read summary

Galya:
Meltzer, A. L., & McNulty, J. K. (2016). Who is having more and better sex? The Big Five as predictors of sex in marriage. Journal of Research in Personality, 63, 62-66. Read summary

Christine:
Ahmetoglu, G., Swami, V., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2010). The relationship between dimensions of love, personality, and relationship length. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(5), 1181-1190. Read summary

Philipp:
Barnes, S., Brown, K. W., Krusemark, E., Campbell, W. K., & Rogge, R. D. (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 482–500. Read summary

Oriana:
Jackson, J. J., Connolly, J. J., Garrison, S. M., Leveille, M. M., & Connolly, S. L. (2015). Your friends know how long you will live. Psychological Science, 26(3), 335-340. Read summary

Susanne:
Mogilski, J. K., & Welling, L. L. M. (in press). Staying friends with an ex: Sex and dark personality traits predict motivations for post-relationship friendship. Personality and Individual Differences. Read summary

Cécile:
Wilson, R. E., Harris, K., & Vazire, S. (2015). Personality and friendship satisfaction in daily life: Do everyday social interactions account for individual differences in friendship satisfaction? European Journal of Personality, 29(2), 173-186. Read summary

Léa:
Campbell, K., Holderness, N., & Riggs, M. (2015). Friendship chemistry: An examination of underlying factors. The Social Science Journal, 52(2), 239-247. Read summary

Bad boys: Tattoos and soldiers. 14 Feb 2017
14 Feb 2017 @ 06:00 am

It's a bad boy special. We discover if a spell at an army training camp can change the type of woman a man finds most attractive. We also find out what tattoos say about a man's health, masculinity, and perceived parenting ability.

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Support the podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 and get access to the patron-only feed, including bonus podcasts and blogs not available elsewhere.

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Do Tattoos Make a Man Appear Healthier and More Attractive?
Army Training Skews Face Preferences

Can army training affect what kind of women men are attracted to? And do tattoos make a man seem healthier and hotter? Defence Images/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Batres, C., & Perrett, D. I. (2016). How the harsh environment of an army training camp changes human (Homo sapiens) facial preferences. Ethology. Read summary

Galbarczyk, A., & Ziomkiewicz, A. (2017). Tattooed men: Healthy bad boys and good-looking competitors. Personality and Individual Differences, 106. Read summary

Body odour: Effects of diet and fertility. 17 Jan 2017
17 Jan 2017 @ 06:00 am

In this episode we poke our noses into two new research papers on body odour and attractiveness. Can women tell if another woman is fertile simply by sniffing her armpits? And can we sweeten our natural aroma by eating fragrant food?

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Support the podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 and get access to the patron-only feed, including bonus podcasts and blogs not available elsewhere.

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Something (or Someone) Smells Fishy: Diet and Body Odor

Does a diet rich in fruit and vegetables make a man's sweat smell like a bouquet of flowers? Derek Hatfield/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Gildersleeve, K., Fales, M. R., & Haselton, M. G. (in press). Women's evaluations of other women's natural body odor depend on targets' fertility status. Evolution and Human Behavior. View summary

Zuniga, A., Stevenson, R. J., Mahmut, M. K., & Stephen, I. D. (in press). Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odor. Evolution and Human Behavior. View summary

Sex and drugs: How substance abuse affects your love life. 20 Dec 2016
20 Dec 2016 @ 06:00 am

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Sex and drugs: Does taking illicit substances affect your mating success? We also find out how a dose of testosterone influences what men find attractive.

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Support me!
Support the podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 and get access to the patron-only feed, including bonus podcasts and blogs not available elsewhere.

Read the transcript!
Sex & Drugs: Can Substance Use Enhance Your Love Life?
How Testosterone Affects What Men Find Attractive

Does taking drugs make you a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus? Niyantha Shekar/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Richardson, G. B., Chen, C.-C., Dai, C.-L., Swoboda, C. M., Nedelec, J. L., & Chen, W.-W. (in press). Substance use and mating success. Evolution and Human Behavior. View summary

Bird, B. M., Welling, L. L. M., Ortiz, T. L., Moreau, B. J. P., Hansen, S., Emond, M., . . . Carré, J. M. (in press). Effects of exogenous testosterone and mating context on men's preferences for female facial femininity. Hormones and Behavior. View summary

Politics and sex: Can attractiveness psychology make sense of the presidential election? 22 Nov 2016
22 Nov 2016 @ 10:49 am

In a belated attempt to understand the results of the recent US elections, we harness the power of attractiveness psychology (because polling doesn't seem to work). Do we vote for candidates based on their voices? Is our party political preference linked to our sexual behaviour? We find out in this month's show.

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Conservatives and Liberals: From the Polling Place to the Bedroom
Deeper Voiced Politicians Win More Elections

Is our preferred political party linked to our sexual behaviour? Theresa Thompson/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Hatemi, P. K., Crabtree, C., & McDermott, R. (2017). The relationship between sexual preferences and political orientations: Do positions in the bedroom affect positions in the ballot box? Personality and Individual Differences, 105, 318-325. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2016.10.008

Pavela Banai, I., Banai, B., & Bovan, K. (in press). Vocal characteristics of presidential candidates can predict the outcome of actual elections Evolution and Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.10.012

Porn: Does it damage your relationship? 25 Oct 2016
25 Oct 2016 @ 06:00 am

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Does viewing pornography damage your relationship? In this episode we look at two recent research studies that seek to answer this question using very different methods. Also, does Trump’s red “power tie” really make him appear more dominant?

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Porn: Does it Damage your Relationship?
Trump’s Powerless Red “Power Tie”

Does viewing pornography have adverse effects on your relationship? Caden Crawford/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Kohut, T., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (in press). Perceived effects of pornography on the couple relationship: Initial findings of open-ended, participant-informed, “bottom-up” research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-18. View summary

Kramer, R. S. S. (2016). The red power(less) tie: Perceptions of political leaders wearing red. Evolutionary Psychology, 14(2). View summary

Perry, S. L. (in press). Does viewing pornography reduce marital quality over time? Evidence from longitudinal data. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-11. View summary

Are clever women attractive? 27 Sep 2016
27 Sep 2016 @ 06:00 am

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Men are more attractive if they are intelligent, but what do smarts do for feminine appeal? We also find out whether physically attractive women are more interested in short-term flings or serious long-term relationships.

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Are Men Attracted to Clever Women?
Are Attractive Women More Interested in Flings?

Are smarter women more attractive? Nottingham Trent University/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Karbowski, A., Deja, D., & Zawisza, M. (2016). Perceived female intelligence as economic bad in partner choice. Personality and Individual Differences, 102, 217-222. View summary

Fisher, C. I., Hahn, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2016). Is women's sociosexual orientation related to their physical attractiveness? Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 396-399. View summary

Do opposites attract? Attractiveness and differences among couples. 30 Aug 2016
30 Aug 2016 @ 06:00 am

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Do opposites attract? We look at two studies of couples who are different in some way. Are couple who don't match in attractiveness less trusting of another? And do couples who have different body shapes attract prejudice and discrimination?

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“Date Someone Your own Size”
? When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman (or Handsome Man)… ?

Is your partner bigger or smaller than you, and what does this mean for your relationship? bingham30069/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Collisson, B., Howell, J. L., Rusbasan, D., & Rosenfeld, E. (in press). “Date someone your own size”: Prejudice and discrimination toward mixed-weight relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Oltmanns, J. R., Markey, P. M., & French, J. E. (in press). Dissimilarity in physical attractiveness within romantic dyads and mate retention behaviors. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Just after I posted this episode, I read about this new study by Sela and colleagues which was also really interesting: it's like the Oltmanns' mate retention study except with self-ratings of attractiveness.