The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

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Latest Podcast Episodes

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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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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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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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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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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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

Threesomes and sexy fanfic. 09 May 2017
9 May 2017 @ 06:00 am

This month we investigate unusual aspects of mating behaviour. How many young adults have experience of threesomes (sex with two partners at the same time)? And why does anyone read -- and write -- sexually explicit fan fiction? I also interview Naomi Muggleton, a PhD student from the University of Warwick, about her research on women's long- and short-term mate preferences and how they vary across cultures. (I've also covered Naomi's previous work on body odour: click here for that episode)

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Harry/Hermione: Who Writes (and Reads) Sexually Explicit Fanfic?
Who Wants a Threesome? No, Really.

"Wow, that was a bad idea..." Portland Center Stage/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Anisimowicz, Y., & O’Sullivan, L. F. (2017). Men’s and women’s use and creation of online sexually explicit materials including fandom-related works. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(3), 823-833. Read summary

Muggleton, N. (2017). Ecological predictors of female sexual suppression. Poster presented at the conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, Paris.

Thompson, A. E., & Byers, E. S. (2017). Heterosexual young adults’ interest, attitudes, and experiences related to mixed-gender, multi-person sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(3), 813-822. Read summary

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