The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

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Latest Podcast Episodes

Cheaters: Predicting and responding to a partner's infidelity. 16 Jan 2018
16 Jan 2018 @ 06:00 am

This month, we're talking about the consequences of a wandering eye. Does contemplating infidelity make a person more suspicious that their own partner might be a cheater? And “should I stay or should I go?” -- how do we decide to respond after discovering our partner has strayed?

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ThoroughlyReviewed/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Neal, A. M., & Lemay, E. P. (in press). The wandering eye perceives more threats: Projection of attraction to alternative partners predicts anger and negative behavior in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Shrout, M. R., & Weigel, D. J. (in press). “Should I stay or should I go?” Understanding the noninvolved partner’s decision-making process following infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Baby photos increase interest in marriage. 19 Dec 2017
19 Dec 2017 @ 06:00 am

This month we examine inter-generational effects on attraction. Almost everyone likes looking at baby photos, but what effect does this innocent activity have on our mating psychology? We'll also discover how the body type women and men prefer in their partners can be influenced by their own fathers' physique. And I present the results of the recent (and first ever) listener survey. Who's listening and what do you want from the show? We'll find out.

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Read the transcript!
Baby Photos Increase Desire for Marriage
Just Like Daddy: Our Unconscious Attraction to Partners Who Look Like Our Parents

Marriage fuel! Does looking at this baby photo increase your desire for a long-term relationship? Stephen Ramsay/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Lord, C. G., Holland, C. J., & Hill, S. E. (2018). Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 106-110. Read summary

Št?rbová, Z., Trébický, V., Havli??ek, J., Ture?ek, P., Varella, A. M. C., & Valentova, J. V. (2017). Father's physique influences mate preferences but not the actual choice of male somatotype in heterosexual women and homosexual men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Looking healthy: Limbal rings, face shape, and skin colour. 21 Nov 2017
21 Nov 2017 @ 10:08 am

Looking healthy is vital to an attractive appearance. But how do we judge a person's healthiness? We find out how face shape and colour influence our perceptions of health, and revisit the idea of limbal rings: a part of the eye that gives away our health and age.

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The Eyes Have It: Limbal Rings and Attraction
What Makes a Healthy Face?

The eye is the window to your... health? The eye on the left has an exaggerated limbal ring. Modified from Joanna Malinowska/freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (in press). Put a (limbal) ring on it: Women perceive men's limbal rings as a health cue in short-term mating domains. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Jones, A. L. (in press). The influence of shape and colour cue classes on facial health perception. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Cosmetic surgery and advertising. 24 Oct 2017
24 Oct 2017 @ 09:06 am

Why do people have cosmetic surgery, and how do cosmetic surgery advertisements make women feel about themselves and behave towards their partners? I also speak to Dr. Sylvie Borau of the Toulouse Business School about her new research on how sexy advertisements trigger women's competitive urges.

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Why Undergo Cosmetic Surgery?

How do sexy swimwear advertisements affect women's competitive urges? Mike Monoghan/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Ashikali, E.-M., Dittmar, H., & Ayers, S. (2017). The impact of cosmetic surgery advertising on Swiss women's body image and attitudes toward cosmetic surgery. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 76(1), 13-21. Read summary

Atari, M., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Chegeni, R. (in press). Consideration of cosmetic surgery as part of women's benefit-provisioning mate retention strategy. Frontiers in Psychology. Read summary

Borau, S., & Bonnefon, J.-F. (in press). The imaginary intrasexual competition: Advertisements featuring provocative female models trigger women to engage in indirect aggression. Journal of Business Ethics. Read summary

The Distracted Boyfriend and dick-pics. 26 Sep 2017
24 Oct 2017 @ 09:01 am

Is there any truth to the cliche of the man who can't talk to a woman without tearing his eyes away from her body? We find out. Also, are we more likely to remember attractive or unattractive faces, even after seeing them for just a split second? And Dr. Evita March is back to talk about her research on sharing explicit images (AKA sending dick pics).

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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.

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Rate, review, or listen in iTunes or in Stitcher.

Read the transcript!
Eye-Gaze and Attraction

Male gaze.

The articles covered in the show:

Gillath, O., Bahns, A. J., & Burghart, H. A. (in press). Eye movements when looking at potential friends and romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Nakamura, K., Arai, S., & Kawabata, H. (in press). Prioritized identification of attractive and romantic partner faces in rapid serial visual presentation. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

March, E., & Wagstaff, D. (2017). Explicit Image Orientation: The role of sex, personality, and mate value. Paper presented at the conference of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Warsaw.

Facebook and infidelity. 29 Aug 2017
29 Aug 2017 @ 06:00 am

Nobody likes to discover that their partner is cheating on them, but how do we react when infidelity is exposed on social media? And can you tell if someone is a cheater by their voice alone? I also speak with Dr. Evita March of Federation University, Australia, about her research on selfies and narcissism.

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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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Read the transcript!
Discovering Infidelity on Facebook
The Voice of a Cheater

Who knows what this couple are up to on their laptops? Probably just playing Solitaire... CGP Grey/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Dunn, M. J., & Billett, G. (in press). Jealousy levels in response to infidelity-revealing facebook messages depend on sex, type of message and message composer: Support for the evolutionary psychological perspective. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. A. (2017). Your cheatin’ voice will tell on you: Detection of past infidelity from voice. Evolutionary Psychology, 15(2), 1474704917711513. Read summary

March, E., & McBean, T. (2017). Love looking at your self(ie)? The moderating effect of self-esteem on narcissism. Poster presented at the conference of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Warsaw.

Conflict and reconciliation. 01 Aug 2017
1 Aug 2017 @ 06:00 am

Do men and women have different tactics for making up after a fight? And do couples resolve sexual and non-sexual conflicts differently? We'll find out in this episode about conflict resolution. I also talk to Dr. Sylvie Borau about her research on gendered marketing.

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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.

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Read the transcript!
The 5 Most Effective Ways to Reconcile After Romantic Conflict
How Couples Resolve Disagreements About Sex

How do couples resolve their conflicts? Hernán Piñera/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Borau, S., & Bonnefon, J.-F. (2017). Gendered products confer asymmetric benefits to the mate value of male and female consumers. Poster presented at the conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, Paris.

Rehman, U. S., Lizdek, I., Fallis, E. E., Sutherland, S., & Goodnight, J. A. (in press). How is sexual communication different from nonsexual communication? A moment-by-moment analysis of discussions between romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Wade, T. J., Mogilski, J., & Schoenberg, R. (in press). Sex differences in reconciliation behavior after romantic conflict. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

BONUS: The Evolutionary Psychology of Mate Preference. 18 Jul 2017
18 Jul 2017 @ 06:00 am

Earlier this year I posted a bonus episode featuring contributions from students in my undergraduate seminar here at Basel University. It proved to be one of the more popular episodes of the podcast. This semester I taught a masters level class on the evolutionary psychology of mate preference and, again, gave the students the task of summarising the research papers they found most interesting for a special bonus episode. As before, most of the students are not native English speakers, nor have they recorded audio before. I am super grateful they agreed to be a part of the podcast (especially after I freaked them out by telling them how many people listened to the previous bonus episode!).

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Mittlere Rheinbruecke, Basel. Mariano Mantel/Flickr

The articles covered in the show (in order of appearance):

Sebastiaan:
Singh, D. & Luis, S. (1995). Ethnic and gender consensus for the effect of waist-to-hip ratio on judgment of women's attractiveness. Human Nature, 6(1), 51-65. Read summary

Elena:
Olderbak, S. G., Malter, F., Wolf, P. S. A., Jones, D. N., & Figueredo, A. J. (2017). Predicting romantic interest at zero acquaintance: Evidence of sex differences in trait perception but not in predictors of interest. European Journal of Personality, 31(1), 42-62. Read summary

Lara:
Ha, T., van den Berg, J. E. M., Engels, R. C. M. E., & Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A. (2012). Effects of attractiveness and status in dating desire in homosexual and heterosexual men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(3), 673-682. Read summary

Babice:
Dixson, B. J., Vasey, P. L., Sagata, K., Sibanda, N., Linklater, W. L., & Dixson, A. F. (2011). Men’s preferences for women’s breast morphology in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(6), 1271-1279. Read summary

Katrin:
Sherlock, J. M., Sidari, M. J., Harris, E. A., Barlow, F. K., & Zietsch, B. P. (2016). Testing the mate-choice hypothesis of the female orgasm: Disentangling traits and behaviours. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 6(1), 31562. Read summary

Sabrina:
Wlodarski, R., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2013). Menstrual cycle effects on attitudes to kissing. Human Nature, 24(4), 402-413. Read summary

Natascha:
Tracy, J. L., & Beall, A. T. (2014). The impact of weather on women’s tendency to wear red or pink when at high risk for conception. PLoS One, 9(2), e88852. Read summary

Antonia:
Krems, J. A., Neel, R., Neuberg, S. L., Puts, D. A., & Kenrick, D. T. (2016). Women selectively guard their (desirable) mates from ovulating women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(4), 551-573. Read summary

Samuele:
Perrett, D. I., Lee, K. J., Penton-Voak, I. S., Rowland, D. R., Yoshikawa, S., Burt, D. M., et al. (1998). Effects of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness. Nature, 394, 884-887. Read summary

James:
Dixson, B. J., & Brooks, R. C. (2013). The role of facial hair in women's perceptions of men's attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(3), 236-241. Read summary

Sebastian:
Lefevre, C. E., & Perrett, D. I. (2015). Fruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin coloration is found more attractive than melanin coloration. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(2), 284-293. Read summary

Denise:
Kaufman, S. B., Kozbelt, A., Silvia, P., Kaufman, J. C., Ramesh, S., & Feist, G. J. (2016). Who finds Bill Gates sexy? Creative mate preferences as a function of cognitive ability, personality, and creative achievement. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 50(4), 294-307. Read summary

Julia:
Apostelou, M., Kasapi, K., & Arakliti, A. (2015). Will they do as we wish? An investigation of the effectiveness of parental manipulation of mating behavior. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1(1), 28-36. Read summary

Tita:
DeBruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., & Little, A. C. (2017). Positive sexual imprinting for human eye color. bioRxiv, 135244. Read summary

The face of a leader. 04 Jul 2017
4 Jul 2017 @ 06:00 am

Can you tell a good leader from their face or their name? We'll look at the results of two new experiments to find out. Plus I talk to Zuzana Št?rbová about her research on how childhood experiences impact our love lives.

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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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Read the transcript!
The Face of a Leader

The faces carved on Mount Rushmore are among the greatest leaders in American history, but did their presidential faces help them to the top? Kurt Magoon/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Barton, D. N., & Halberstadt, J. (in press). A social Bouba/Kiki effect: A bias for people whose names match their faces. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Read summary

Re, D. E., & Rule, N. (in press). Distinctive facial cues predict leadership rank and selection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Št?rbová, X., Bartova, K., Weiss, P., & Varella., V. J. (2017). Relationship with parents during childhood predicts age of the first love but not the first sexual experience in heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals. Poster presented at the conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, Paris.

It's a family affair. 06 Jun 2017
6 Jun 2017 @ 06:00 am

Supporters of the podcast on Patreon have chosen the topic for this month's episode, and it's a family affair: we find out if parents prefer attractive partners for their offspring. We will also discover if our partners tend to resemble our siblings (*shudder*). And I speak to Jaime Benjamin, a PhD student at the University of Dundee, about her new research on how men and women trade off appearance against wealth in potential partners.

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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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Read the transcript!
How Your Family Influences What You Find Attractive

The Godfather clan kept it in the family, but do parents interfere in their offsprings' choice of mates? And do our partners resembles our siblings?

The articles covered in the show:

Benjamin, J., & Moore, F. (2017). Mate preference trade-offs a la carte vs. table d'hôte: Examining sex differences using Conjoint Analysis. Poster presented at the conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, Paris.

Lefevre, C. E., & Saxton, T. K. (in press). Parental preferences for the facial traits of their offspring's partners can enhance parental inclusive fitness. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Saxton, T. K., Steel, C., Rowley, K., Newman, A. V., & Baguley, T. (in press). Facial resemblance between women's partners and brothers. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary