Bernhard Fink

Bernhard Fink
University of Vienna | UniWien · Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

PhD, Univ. of Vienna

About

212
Publications
190,559
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Introduction
Cross-cultural perception of human faces, bodies, and body movements (w/ K Schaefer/S Windhager/M Butovskaya), Digit Ratio (2D:4D) and symmetry in humans (w/ JT Manning/R Trivers), the role of skin and hair in person perception (w/ P Matts/R Voegeli), correlates of human ejaculate quality (w/ TK Shackelford)

Publications

Publications (212)
Article
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Suicide attacks and terrorism are characterized by cognitive simplicity, which is related to self-deception. In justifying violence in pursuit of ideologically and/or politically driven commitment, people with high religious commitment may be particularly prone to mechanisms of self-deception. Related megalomania and glorious self-perception are ty...
Article
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In a study of degree of lower body symmetry in 73 elite Jamaican track and field athletes we show that both their knees and ankles (but not their feet) are-on average-significantly more symmetrical than those of 116 similarly aged controls from the rural Jamaican countryside. Within the elite athletes, events ranged from the 100 to the 800 m, and k...
Article
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In women with lightly pigmented skin in particular, facial skin color homogeneity decreases with age, primarily due to chronic exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), leading to a decrease in perceived health and attractiveness. Perception of female skin may be influenced by continuous exposure to, and thus familiarity with, age-related chan...
Article
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Humans extract and use information from the face in assessments of physical appearance. Previous research indicates high agreement about facial attractiveness within and between cultures. However, the use of a narrow age range for facial stimuli, limitations due to unidirectional cross-cultural comparisons, and technical challenges have prevented d...
Article
Dance is ubiquitous among humans and has received attention from several disciplines. Ethnographic documentation suggests that dance has a signaling function in social interaction. It can influence mate preferences and facilitate social bonds. Research has provided insights into the proximate mechanisms of dance, individually or when dancing with p...
Research
The digit ratio reference list (N=1150, Feb 2022) is a collection of digit ratio studies of >20 years. We hope that scholars may find it useful for their work. The list can be found here: http://bernhardfink.com/digit-ratio-references/
Article
Digit ratio (2D:4D) – a proxy for prenatal sex steroids – shows sex, nationality and ethnic differences and is linked to pubertal onset. It is unclear whether right-left 2D:4D (Dr-l) also correlates with prenatal sex steroids, as evidence of these differences has been less conclusive. The present study examined the effects of sex, nation, ethnicity...
Article
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Male physical formidability may reflect capacities to provision and protect, resource holding potential, and social status. Handgrip strength (HGS) is a robust measure of overall muscular strength and function that correlates positively with ratings of male facial attractiveness and dominance. Here, we examine strength, attractiveness, and aggressi...
Article
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Males of some species use mate retention behavior and investment in ejaculate quality as anti-cuckoldry tactics concurrently while others do so in a compensatory fashion. Leivers, Rhodes, and Simmons (2014) reported that men who performed mate retention less frequently produced higher-quality ejaculates, suggesting that humans use these tactics com...
Article
Digit ratio-a putative measure of prenatal sex steroids-may be related to body mass index (BMI). However, reports of correlations between 2D:4D and BMI have yielded mixed results with some studies showing no relationship while others have reported positive associations in men or women only. This study considers associations between self-reported 2D...
Article
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Objective: Accuracy in assessing age from facial cues is important in social perception given reports of strong negative correlations between perceived age and assessments of health and attractiveness. In a multi-ethnic and multi-centre study, we previously documented similar patterns of female facial age assessments across ethnicities, influenced...
Article
Income inequality is associated positively with disease prevalence and mortality. Digit ratio (2D:4D)-a negative proxy for prenatal testosterone and a positive correlate of prenatal oestrogen-is related to several diseases. This study examined the association of income inequality (operationalized as relative parental income) and children's 2D:4D. P...
Article
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Transgendered belief—the conviction that one is the opposite gender to one’s natal gender—may be influenced by prenatal sex steroids. We consider this possibility by examining the relationship between digit ratio (2D:4D—a suggested correlate of fetal testosterone and estrogen), natal gender, felt gender, and transsexual drug therapy in a large onli...
Article
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Research on attractiveness assessments of men’s dance has shown that raters derive and integrate information about male mating-related qualities into their attractiveness assessments, but prior studies have focused on lay assessors (i.e., individuals with no professional dance background) rather than dance experts. We recruited male and female Russ...
Article
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Genetic quality may be expressed through many traits simultaneously, and this would suggest a phenotype-wide fitness factor. In humans, intelligence has been positively associated with several potential indicators of genetic quality, including ejaculate quality. We conducted a conceptual replication of one such study by investigating the relationsh...
Article
Objective Male digit ratio (2D:4D) correlates positively with the national case fatality rate (CFR) for COVID-19. The severity of COVID-19 may be influenced by a counterbalance between the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). SARS-CoV2 cleaves with ACE2 and enters cells leaving an unopposed effect of ACE i...
Article
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Research in nonhuman animals (including insects, birds, and primates) suggests a trade-off in males between investment in competitive traits and investment in ejaculate quality. Previous research reported a negative association between perceived strength and ejaculate quality, suggesting that this trade-off also applies to human males. We conducted...
Article
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Male risk-taking behavior is associated with personality traits and correlates with hormone titers, notably for testosterone (T) and cortisol (C). Yet, these influences may be stronger in some individuals due to context or profession in which risk-taking occurs. We examine this possibility by investigating relationships of personality, aggression,...
Article
Background The reported national case fatality rates (CFRs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shows a sex bias with males > females. The relative lengths of the index (2D) and ring (4D) fingers (digit ratio; 2D:4D) is a sexually dimorphic (males < females) proxy of fetal sex steroids (low 2D:4D indicates high prenatal testosterone/low prenata...
Article
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In-group favoritism-a preference for members of one's group-may be evident in non-verbal behavior and may affect moral judgments. We recorded body orientation (towards vs. away from the conversation partner) in 139 dyadic conversations of male Russian alpinists (74 dyads) and members of the Special Forces (65 dyads) by scan sampling at a mountainee...
Article
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Background: Radial cheek lines (RCL) may convey an older, potentially less attractive appearance. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler VYC-17.5L for correcting RCL. Materials and methods: Fifty-three women (40-65 years) received injections of VYC-17.5L in both cheeks on Day 1 (optional Day 14 touch-up...
Preprint
Previous research with North American samples indicates that men who more frequently insult their intimate partners are also more likely to coerce them sexually. We investigated the cross-cultural generality of associations between men's use of partner-directed insults and sexual coercion in Brazil, a South American country with rates of domestic v...
Article
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Objectives Strategic Pluralism Theory contends that human mating strategies are calibrated toward short‐term (ST) or long‐term (LT) mating according to the expression of condition‐dependent traits and characteristics of the social and physical environment. Traits reflecting the effects of testosterone have been considered condition‐dependent traits...
Article
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In industrialized societies, male gait provides information about physical strength. Male physical strength may be used by men and women to assess the fighting ability of rivals and the quality of potential mates, respectively. Women more than men discriminate between strong and weak walkers when assessing gait attractiveness. We presented videos o...
Article
Background: Digit ratio (2D:4D), has been the subject of many studies. However, the best method of measuring digit length, either directly (d2D:4D) or indirectly (i2D:4D), is controversial. In many reports i2D:4D has been found to show a directional effect such that d2D:4D > i2D:4D. The exception is three studies from one group of researchers in A...
Article
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Research has documented sex differences in risk-taking behavior, and young men in particular are more prone than women to engage in activities associated with physical risks. Evolutionary scientists have proposed that this sex difference is a consequence of male competition over mating opportunities. Thus, mating motives promote risk-taking in men...
Article
Objective Sex differences are often reported in digit lengths and digit ratio (2D:4D). However, the ontogeny of these sex differences and their interrelationships are less well known. Methods We considered sex differences in the lengths of the 2nd (2D) and 4th (4D) digit and 2D:4D in children aged 2 to 18 years (Sample I, n = 680) and adults aged...
Article
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Objectives Previous research has documented associations of physical strength and facial morphology predominantly in men of Western societies. Faces of strong men tend to be more robust, are rounder and have a prominent jawline compared with faces of weak men. Here, we investigate whether the morphometric patterns of strength-face relationships rep...
Article
Objective Research documents that even subtle changes in visible skin condition affect perceptions of age, health, and attractiveness. There is evidence that hair quality also affects the assessment of physical appearance, as variations in hair diameter, hair density, and hair style have systematic effects on perception. Here, we consider combined...
Article
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Handgrip strength (HGS) is a robust measure of overall muscular strength and function, and has long been predictive of a multitude of health factors and physical outcomes for both men and women. The fact that HGS represents such a ubiquitous measure of health and vitality may reflect the significance of this trait during human evolution. This trait...
Article
Objective: Previous studies investigating the effects of skin surface topography and colouration cues on the perception of female faces reported a differential weighting for the perception of skin topography and colour evenness, where topography was a stronger visual cue for the perception of age, whereas skin colour evenness was a stronger visual...
Chapter
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Article
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Research on association between digit ratio (2D:4D; a putative correlate of prenatal sex steroids) and mental masculinity/femininity (Masc/Fem) has reported mixed findings. This may be due to differences in protocols for assessing 2D:4D and Masc/Fem across studies. Here, we consider the relationship between direct self-measured 2D:4D and occupation...
Conference Paper
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Background: Radial lines in the cheek area can be associated with an older and less attractive appearance. In a prospective, open-label study (the BEAM study), we evaluated the effectiveness of Juvéderm ® Volift ™ (VYC-17.5L)—a hyaluronic acid–based filler with lidocaine developed using Vycross ® technology—for treating the deep skin depressions of...
Article
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Previous research documents that men and women can accurately judge male physical strength from gait, but also that the sexes differ in attractiveness judgments of strong and weak male walkers. Women’s (but not men’s) attractiveness assessments of strong male walkers are higher than for weak male walkers. Here, we extend this research to assessment...
Article
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Human dance may have originated from selection to display quality in courtship. This proposal is based on comparative investigation of variation in motor skills in relation to mate preference and selection. However, scholars have also proposed that dance has evolved as a by-product of imitative proficiency. In this view, imitative proficiency plays...
Article
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Previous studies have documented links between sub-clinical narcissism and the active pursuit of short-term mating strategies (e.g., unrestricted sociosexuality, marital infidelity, mate poaching). Nearly all of these investigations have relied solely on samples from Western cultures. In the current study, responses from a cross-cultural survey of...
Article
Coalitional mate retention (CMR) occurs when individuals request assistance from a friend to minimize the risk of partner infidelity. We secured reports from men and women in a committed, heterosexual relationship to investigate associations between CMR requests and the sex and personality traits of individuals who request CMR, and the sex of their...
Article
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The social significance of physical appearance and beauty has been documented in many studies. It is known that even subtle manipulations of facial morphology and skin condition can alter people’s perception of a person’s age, health and attractiveness. While the variation in facial morphology and skin condition cues has been studied quite extensiv...
Article
Sexual selection may have shaped male visual sensitivity to characteristics that provide information about female mate quality. Indeed, men judge certain facial and bodily configurations of women to be attractive, possibly because those configurations signal health and fertility. Most of this evidence derives from the study of women's facial and bo...
Article
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Humans perform copulatory behaviors that do not contribute directly to reproduction (e.g., cunnilingus, prolonged copulation). We conducted a content analysis of pornography to investigate whether such behaviors might contribute indirectly to reproduction by influencing ejaculate volume—an indicator of ejaculate quality. We coded 100 professional p...
Article
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Objective: To investigate the relationship between perceived mate value discrepancy (i.e., the difference between an individual's mate value and their partner's mate value) and perceived frequency of mate retention performed by an individual relative to their partner. Method: In two studies, participants in long-term, exclusive, sexual, heterose...
Article
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Objectives: Men and women accurately assess male physical strength from facial and body morphology cues. Women's assessments of male facial attractiveness, masculinity, and dominance correlate positively with male physical strength. A positive relationship also has been reported between physical strength and attractiveness of men's dance movements...
Article
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Studies of several mammalian species confirm that formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances) predict height and weight better than does fundamental frequency (F0, perceived as pitch) in same-sex adults due to differential anatomical constraints. However, our recent meta-analysis (Pisanski et al., 2014, Animal Behaviour, 95, 89–99) indicated that...
Article
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Physical strength correlateswith facial and bodymorphology, bodymovement, and sexual behavior, especially in men. Thus, physical strength may signal male quality in the context of intersexual and intrasexual selection.We investigated relationships of handgrip strength (a measure of upper body muscularity) and personality (asassessed via the "Big Fi...
Article
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A given man's phenotype embodies cues of his ancestral ability to effectively defend himself and his kin from harm, to survive adverse conditions, and to acquire status and mating opportunities. In this review, we explore the hypothesis that a man's phenotype also embodies cues to fertility or the probability that an ejaculate will fertilize ova. F...
Article
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We investigated the influence of mating context and sociosexual orientation (interest in sex without emotional involvement) on men's perceptions of women's dance movements. One hundred men aged 18 to 33 (M = 23.5, SD = 3.5) years viewed brief videos of five “high attractive” and five “low attractive” female dancers (aged 18 to 22 years; M = 19.8, S...
Article
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The androgen receptor (AR) gene polymorphism in humans is linked to aggression and may also be linked to reproduction. Here we report associations between AR gene polymorphism and aggression and reproduction in two small-scale societies in northern Tanzania (Africa)-the Hadza (monogamous foragers) and the Datoga (polygynous pastoralists). We secure...
Article
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Body height influences human mate preferences and choice. A typical finding in Western societies is that women prefer men who are taller than themselves and, equivalently, men prefer women who are shorter than themselves. However, recent reports in non-Western societies (e.g., the Himba in Namibia) challenge the view on the universality of such pre...
Article
Here we show that gender identification of male (but not female) heterosexual, right-handed dancers correlates with physical strength (measured via handgrip strength) after controlling for the effect of body-mass-index on strength. Using optical motion capture technology, we collected the dance movements of men and women for subsequent animations o...
Article
Digit ratio (2D:4D)-a putative marker of prenatal androgen activity-has been shown to correlate with self-reported physical aggression and dominance behavior, especially in male children and adolescents. This evidence is derived primarily from the study of Western samples. Digit ratios, self-reported aggression, and dominance behavior were collecte...
Article
Full-text available
Physical strength provides information about male quality and can be assessed from facial and body morphology. Research on perception of dance movements indicates that body movement also provides information about male physical strength. These relationships have not been investigated for women. We investigated relationships of handgrip strength (HG...
Article
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People judge attractiveness and make trait inferences from the physical appearance of others, and research reveals high agreement among observers making such judgments. Evolutionary psychologists have argued that interest in physical appearance and beauty reflects adaptations that motivate the search for desirable qualities in a potential partner....
Article
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Handedness is controlled by many genetic variants, some of which are in sex-dependent genes that also influence body asymmetry. One such asymmetry may be in foot length. Levy and Levy (1978) reported that right-handed males have longer right feet than left and left-handed males have longer left feet than right, while this trend was found to be reve...
Article
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Recent research on women's ratings of men's dance movements indicates that women derive similar cues of male "quality" (e.g., physical strength) from movement as from faces and bodies. Whether this extends to personality assessment is yet unclear. We recorded dance movements of 80 men using 3D optical motion-capture technology and secured self-repo...
Article
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Gender inequality varies across nations, where such inequality is defined as the disproportionate representation of one sex over the other in desirable social, economic, and biological roles (typically male over female). Thus in Norway, 40% of parliamentarians are women, in the USA 17%, and in Saudi Arabia 0%. Some of this variation is associated w...
Article
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Objectives Body symmetry and physical strength in males have been related to aspects of mate “quality”—women seem to prefer men who display both “good genes” (as indexed by high symmetry/developmental health) and fighting ability (as indexed by physical strength). Here we show that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of the body and physical strength are ne...