Barnaby J Dixson

Barnaby J Dixson
University of the Sunshine Coast | USC · Discipline of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

118
Publications
250,815
Reads
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2,964
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - present
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Research Associate
May 2012 - March 2015
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
January 2007 - December 2010
Victoria University of Wellington
Field of study
  • Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology
September 2002 - June 2004
University of California, Santa Cruz
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
Full-text available
The beard is a strikingly sexually dimorphic androgen-dependent secondary sexual trait in humans. Darwin posited that beards evolved in human ancestors via female choice as a highly attractive masculine adornment. Others have since proposed that beards evolved as a signal of male status and dominance. Here, we show that women from two very differen...
Article
Full-text available
Human bodies exemplify complex phenotypes, likely to be subject to complex evolutionary forces. Despite the importance of body shape to health, social interactions and self-esteem, our understanding of body evolution and integration remains simplistically focused on simple ratios like waist-hip ratio (WHR), and body mass index (BMI), or manipulatio...
Article
Full-text available
Negative frequency-dependent sexual selection maintains striking polymorphisms in secondary sexual traits in several animal species. Here, we test whether frequency of beardedness modulates perceived attractiveness of men's facial hair, a secondary sexual trait subject to considerable cultural variation. We first showed participants a suite of face...
Article
Full-text available
Men and women living in a rural community in Bakossiland, Cameroon were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of male or female figures manipulated to vary in somatotype, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), secondary sexual traits, and other features. In Study 1, women rated mesomorphic (muscular) and average male somatotypes as most attractive, followe...
Article
Men and women at Northwest University (n = 631), Xi'an, China, were asked to rate the attractiveness of male or female figures manipulated to vary somatotype, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), secondary sexual traits, and other features. In study 1, women rated the average masculine somatotype as most attractive, followed by the mesomorphic (muscular), ect...
Preprint
Humans have undergone a long evolutionary history of violent agonistic exchanges, which would have placed selective pressures on greater body size and the psychophysical systems that detect them. The present work showed that greater body size in humans predicted increased knockout power during contests (Study 1a-1b: total N = 5,866; Study 2: N = 44...
Article
Full-text available
The study of moral judgements often centres on moral dilemmas in which options consistent with deontological perspectives (that is, emphasizing rules, individual rights and duties) are in conflict with options consistent with utilitarian judgements (that is, following the greater good based on consequences). Greene et al. (2009) showed that psychol...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Communicating in ways that motivate engagement in social distancing remains a critical global public health priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study tested motivational qualities of messages about social distancing (those that promoted choice and agency vs. those that were forceful and shaming) in 25,718 people in 89 countries...
Article
Full-text available
Human visual systems have evolved to extract ecologically relevant information from complex scenery. In some cases, the face in the crowd visual search task demonstrates an anger superiority effect, where anger is allocated preferential attention. Across three studies (N = 419), we tested whether facial hair guides attention in visual search and in...
Article
Masculine facial morphology (e.g., larger jaw, prominent cheekbones) have been linked to a suite of social outcomes—including greater wealth, career progress, romantic desirability, and even greater political success. A leading explanation for these links is that dominant facial structures represent honest cues of physical dominance and fighting ab...
Article
Zilioli et al. (2014) were the first to show an association between male facial width‐to‐height ratio (fWHR) and physical aggression and fighting ability in professional mixed‐martial‐arts fighters. Here, we re‐examined this relationship by replicating (using all original measures) and extending (using 23 new variables related to fighting performan...
Preprint
A large literature implicates male facial width-to-height ratio (bizygomatic width divided by facial height) as a secondary sexual trait linked to numerous physical and psychological outcomes. However, this research is based entirely on the premise that bizygomatic width is sexually dimorphic, which recent research has called this into question. Un...
Preprint
Status obtained via dominance is a phylogenetically ancient feature of human social systems. Yet empirical evidence that men’s secondary sexual traits reliably predict success in intra-sexual contests has been hard to demonstrate. The present work provides the first test of whether masculine craniofacial structures in men predicts aggressiveness in...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To test whether intra-sexual selection has influenced perceptions of male facial hair. We predicted that beards would increase the speed and accuracy of perceptions of angry but not happy facial expressions. We also predicted that bearded angry faces would receive the highest explicit ratings of masculinity and aggressiveness, whereas hi...
Preprint
Sexual selection via male-male contest competition has shaped the evolution of agonistic displays, weaponry, and fighting styles, and is further argued to have shaped human psychological mechanisms to detect, process, and respond appropriately to cues of fighting ability. Drawing on the largest fight-specific dataset to date across the sports and b...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 10 years, Oosterhof and Todorov’s valence–dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgements of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear w...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 10 years, Oosterhof and Todorov’s valence–dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgements of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear w...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To test whether cross-cultural variation in men’s facial hair conforms to patterns predicted by processes of inter-sexual and intra-sexual selection.Methods Data were taken from the PEW Research Center’s World’s Muslims’ project that collected information from 14,032 men from 25 countries. An Independent Factor Analysis was used to analy...
Article
Background and Objective Recruiting and retaining male donors remain an ongoing challenge for blood collection agencies. Research suggests that interventions based on costly signalling theory that allows donors to unobtrusively but publicly signal their donor status may be effective. However, what functions as such a signal and how it is interprete...
Article
Full-text available
The suppression of sexuality is culturally widespread, and women’s sexual promiscuity, activity, and enjoyment are almost always judged and punished more harshly than men’s. It remains disputed, however, to what end people suppress sexuality, and who benefits from the suppression of female sexuality. Different theories predict that women in general...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Intra-sexual selection has shaped the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits in males of many primates, including humans. In men, sexual dimorphism in craniofacial shape (i.e. facial masculinity) and facial hair have both been shown to communicate aspects of social and physical dominance intra-sexually. However, less attention has been g...
Article
While hundreds of studies have investigated the indices that make up attractive body shapes, these studies were based on preferences measured in the laboratory using pictorial stimuli. Whether these preferences translate into real-time, face-to-face evaluations of potential partners is unclear. Here, 539 (275 female) participants in 75 laboratory-b...
Article
Full-text available
According to the dual mating strategy model, in short-term mating contexts women should forego paternal investment qualities in favor of mates with well-developed secondary sexual characteristics and dominant behavioral displays. We tested whether this model explains variation in women’s preferences for facial masculinity and beardedness in male fa...
Article
Full-text available
In Samoa, feminine natal males who possess male-typical genitalia are known locally as fa’afafine. Some Samoan men express sexual interest in fa’afafine, whereas others do not. To assess the sexual orientation of men who are sexually interested in fa’afafine, we collected sexual attraction ratings and viewing times of Samoan men’s and women’s faces...
Article
Full-text available
The strength and direction of sexual selection via female choice on masculine facial traits in men is a paradox in human mate choice research. While masculinity may communicate benefits to women and offspring directly (i.e. resources) or indirectly (i.e. health), masculine men may be costly as long-term partners owing to lower paternal investment....
Preprint
Full-text available
Over the last ten years, Oosterhof and Todorov’s valence-dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgments of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear w...
Article
Violent video game play can alter how people process social information. We examined the extent to which violent video game play influenced anger facial recognition, perceptions of one's own fighting ability, and perceptions of others' toughness. In three experiments (N = 868), participants were randomly assigned to play a violent or non-violent vi...
Article
Mating strategy theories assert that women's preferences for androgen dependent traits in men are stronger when the costs of reduced paternal investment are lowest. Past research has shown that preferences for facial masculinity are stronger among nulliparous and non-pregnant women than pregnant or parous women. In two studies, we examine patterns...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives According to the ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis, natural selection has shaped human hairlessness to reduce the potential for the body to host disease carrying ectoparasites. However, men retain sexually dimorphic and conspicuous patches of facial and body hair. The ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis also proposes that sexual selection...
Article
Adults use features such as facial hair to judge others' social dominance and mate value, but the origin of these judgments is unknown. We sought to determine when these associations develop, which associations develop first, and whether they are associated with early exposure to bearded faces. We presented pairs of bearded and clean-shaven faces t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Much research on moral judgment is centered on moral dilemmas in which deontological perspectives (i.e., emphasizing rules, individual rights and duties) are in conflict with utilitarian judgements (i.e., following the greater good defined through consequences). A central finding of this field Greene et al. showed that psychological and situational...
Article
The beard is arguably one of the most obvious signals of masculinity in humans. Almost 150 years ago, Darwin suggested that beards evolved to communicate formidability to other males, but no studies have investigated whether beards enhance recognition of threatening expressions, such as anger. We found that the presence of a beard increased the spe...
Data
Example images used for targets presented alone and with opposite sex others.
Data
Ad Hoc MLMs of rated attractiveness of male and female models by men and women, factoring in ‘target attire’.
Data
Ad Hoc MLMs of rated economic status of male and female models by men and women, factoring in ‘target attire’.
Data
Data for groups study 1 separated by target sex and measure (attractiveness, earnings).
Data
Data for attire study 2 separated by measure (attractiveness, earnings).
Article
Full-text available
The strength of sexual selection on secondary sexual traits varies depending on prevailing economic and ecological conditions. In humans, cross-cultural evidence suggests women’s preferences for men’s testosterone dependent masculine facial traits are stronger under conditions where health is compromised, male mortality rates are higher and economi...
Article
Full-text available
Desirable characteristics of “opposite sex others,” such as physical attractiveness and economic status, can influence how individuals are judged, and this is different for men and women. However, under various social contexts where cues of higher or lower economic status is suggested, sex differences in judgments related to mate choice have not be...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research suggests that human children lack an aptitude for tool innovation. However, children’s tool making must be explored across a broader range of tasks and across diverse cultural contexts before we can conclude that they are genuinely poor tool innovators. To this end, we investigated children’s ability to independently construct 3 new...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Mate choice copying (MCC) is a type of non-independent mate choice where the ‘probability of acceptance’ of a potential mate increases if they are observed to be chosen by others first. The phenomenon was first demonstrated in several non-human taxa, with studies on humans conducted shortly after. The effect has been consistently document...
Article
Full-text available
Across cultures, androphilic males (natal males who are predominantly sexually attracted to adult men, not women) tend to present in one of two forms: cisgender or transgender. Previous research has shown that, although their gender presentation and identities are distinct, the two forms are similar in many other ways. The present study examined wh...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns about the veracity of psychological research have been growing. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and nonrepresentative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Crowdsourced research, a type of large-scale collaboration in which...
Preprint
Concerns have been growing about the veracity of psychological findings. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and non-representative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Large-scale collaboration, in which one or more research projects a...
Article
Full-text available
The ovulatory shift hypothesis proposes that women's preferences for masculine physical and behavioral traits are greater at the peri-ovulatory period than at other points of the menstrual cycle. However, many previous studies used self-reported menstrual cycle data to estimate fecundability rather than confirming the peri-ovulatory phase hormonall...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
According to the ovulatory shift hypothesis, women's mate preferences for male morphology indicative of competitive ability, social dominance, and/or underlying health are strongest at the peri-ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. However, recent meta-analyses are divided on the robustness of such effects and the validity of the often-used indir...
Article
In contemporary human societies, where direct male-male competition is reduced compared to ancestral societies, sporting competitions remain an avenue for status acquisition via intra-sexual competition. Beards are the most visually salient and sexually dimorphic of men's secondary sexual traits and play a strong role in communicating masculinity,...
Article
Full-text available
Although theory of mind (ToM) is argued to emerge between 3 and 5 years of age, data from non-Western, small-scale societies suggest diversity. Deeper investigations into these settings are warranted. In the current study, over 400 Melanesian children from Vanuatu (range = 3–14 years), growing up in either urban or rural remote environments, comple...
Article
Full-text available
Women’s preferences for men’s androgen dependent secondary sexual traits are proposed to be phenotypically plastic in response to exposure to pathogens and pathogen disgust. While previous studies report that masculinity in facial shape is more attractive to women who have recently been exposed to pathogenic cues and who are high in self-reported p...
Data
Cronbach’s alphas representing the inter-rater reliability for the 5 stimulus images within each stimulus category for ratings of attractiveness ratings. (DOCX)
Data
Repeated-measures ANOVA, with the beard (clean-shaven, full beard), masculinity (+50%, -50%) and time (pre, post) as within-subjects factors and pathogen treatment (ectoparasites, pathogens, mixed, and control) and relationship status (in a relationship, single) as between-subjects factors. (DOCX)
Data
This file contains the data reported in this manuscript. (SAV)
Data
Repeated-measures ANOVA testing the effect of beardedness (clean-shaven, full beard), masculinity (+50%, -50%) and pathogen treatment (ectoparasites, pathogens, mixed, and control) on the differential between women’s post-treatment and pre-treatment attractiveness ratings of male faces. (DOCX)
Data
Participants sexual orientation and ethnicity split by experimental treatment. (DOCX)
Data
The variance components (random effects) for the models predicting attractiveness ratings when only including pre-manipulation trials. (DOCX)
Data
The fixed effects coefficients (and standard errors) and associated 95% confidence intervals for the influence of moral disgust, sexual disgust, pathogen disgust, as well as sexual dimorphism and beardedness on attractiveness ratings only including pre-manipulation trials. (DOCX)
Data
The variance components (random effects) for the models predicting attractiveness ratings for Analysis 2. (DOCX)
Article
Several studies report that wearing red clothing enhances women's attractiveness and signals sexual proceptivity to men. The associated hypothesis that women will choose to wear red clothing when fertility is highest, however, has received mixed support from empirical studies. One possible cause of these mixed findings may be methodological. The cu...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual dimorphism in facial shape and beardedness are salient human secondary sexual traits that enhance perceptions of men’s social dominance. The majority of this evidence, however, comes from studies measuring explicit ratings. To our knowledge, few studies have tested whether facial masculinity and beardedness are implicitly associated with dom...
Chapter
Full-text available