Publications (4)5.53 Total impact
Article: Women’s Probability of Conception Is Associated with their Preference for Flirtatious but not Masculine Facial Movement[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Women’s preferences for facial structure vary over the menstrual cycle. Little is known, however, as to how preferences for behavior may be influenced by hormonal factors. Here, we demonstrate that social properties of facial motion influence attractiveness judgments in the absence of other cues, and that women’s preferences for these displays vary over the menstrual cycle, as has been demonstrated for structural traits of men’s faces in static stimuli. We produced shape-standardized facial models that were animated with male movement and assessed for flirtatiousness by 16 women and attractiveness by 47 women. In fertile phases of the menstrual cycle, women showed stronger preferences for flirtatious movement, but not for absolute movement. These data show that women (1) recognize specific mating-relevant social cues in male facial movement and (2) are differentially influenced by these cues at different phases of the menstrual cycle. This preference for flirtatiousness may promote the adaptive allocation of mating effort towards men who are, in turn, likely to respond positively. KeywordsFacial attractiveness-Facial movement-Dynamic stimuli-Mate choice-Menstrual cycle-FlirtingArchives of Sexual Behavior 04/2012; 39(6):1297-1304. · 3.53 Impact Factor
Article: Manipulating Shape Cues in Dynamic Human Faces: Sexual Dimorphism is Preferred in Female but not Male Faces[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Sexual dimorphism in the human face has been linked to attractiveness, and computer-graphic techniques have been useful in this field by allowing experimental manipulation of dimorphism. However, a limitation of much research is its reliance on static pictorial stimuli, whereas real faces are dynamic, as is much courtship behaviour throughout nature. Furthermore, little is known about possible interactions between static and dynamic facial cues and attractiveness. We adapted well-established face-morphing technology to manipulate sexual dimorphism in male and female dynamic facial displays depicting prosocial and antisocial behaviour. Masculinised and feminised versions of these videos were presented as a two-alternative forced choice task to measure preferences. Feminised female videos were preferred in both movement contexts, as expected. More surprisingly, no directional preference for masculinity or femininity was evident for the male videos in either context. Further analysis showed that the movement of the faces (prosocial vs. antisocial) had no effect on attractiveness ratings. Results were the same with static stimuli and did not conflict with findings from the wider literature using static faces. These findings suggest that the new technique we describe is a valid way to manipulate facial shape in videos and can now be widely applied to future studies of facial morphing.Ethology 11/2010; 116(12):1234 - 1243. · 2.01 Impact Factor
Article: Performance on a face perception task is associated with empathy quotient scores, but not systemizing scores or participant sex[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This preliminary study investigated whether individual differences in performance on a difficult social perception task (determining the sex of shape normalized, line drawn dynamic faces) are related to sex of observer, scores on an empathy quotient and scores on a systemizing quotient. Performance in the face perception task (N = 60) was above chance, indicating that participants could judge the sex of the degraded facial stimuli from dynamic information alone. There was a trend for women to be more accurate in their judgments of target sex than men, but regression analyses indicated that EQ scores alone predicted performance on the task. This study suggests that empathy may mediate sex differences in face perception abilities, and potentially other tasks in social perception.Personality and Individual Differences.
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ABSTRACT: Facial movement has received little attention in studies of human attractiveness, yet dynamic displays are an important aspect of courtship in many species. This experiment investigated whether facial movement could be used to identify sex, and whether the ease of identification was associated with attractiveness. We removed shape cues to sex by applying movement from individual faces to a standardised facial model. Participants were able to distinguish between male and female animations of this model at levels above chance. Furthermore, there was a positive association between ease of sex identification and attractiveness for female, but not male, faces. Analysis of facial movement suggested several behaviours that are more frequent in women than men (blinking, tilting, nodding, shaking, and amount of movement). Although some of these behaviours may be cues to sex identification, none alone was directly linked to attractiveness. Our findings suggest that feminine motion is attractive in female faces, but sexually recognisable movement has no clear influence on male attractiveness, in agreement with work on static faces employing composite images.