David I Perrett

David I Perrett
University of St Andrews · School of Psychology and Neuroscience

D.Phil

About

479
Publications
326,688
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49,611
Citations
Introduction

Publications

Publications (479)
Article
Previous research has tested whether culture moderates the relationship between head tilt and perceptions of a cooperation-relevant construct. In this paper, we replicated the effects of head posture on perceived traits and compared Chinese and American participants to explore whether difference in cultural background (collectivist and individualis...
Article
Full-text available
Fashion stylists advise clothing colours according to personal categories that depend on skin, hair and eye colour. These categories are not defined scientifically, and advised colours are inconsistent. Such caveats may explain the lack of formal tests of clothing colour aesthetics. We assessed whether observers preferred clothing colours that are...
Article
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Thin and muscular have been characterized as ideals for women and men, respectively. Little research has investigated whether men and women have accurate perceptions of opposite‐sex preferences of thinness and muscularity. Further, no study has explored whether opposite‐sex perceptions of thinness and muscularity preferences differ for short‐term a...
Article
Evolutionary theories suggest that humans prefer sexual dimorphism in faces because masculinity in men and femininity in women may be an indicator of immune function during development. In particular, the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis proposes that sexual dimorphism indicates good immune function during development because the sex hormones,...
Article
Full-text available
Interpreting the personality and the disposition of people is important for social interaction. Both emotional expression and facial width are known to affect personality perception. Moreover, both the apparent emotional expression and the apparent width-to-height ratio of the face change with head tilt. We investigated how head tilt affects judgem...
Article
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Colorful carotenoid ornaments are sexually selected signals of health in many species. In humans too, carotenoids could provide a perceptible cue to health as they impart an attractive yellow-orange color to skin. Increasing carotenoid pigmentation and skin yellowness is associated with increased fruit and vegetable intake, but whether other aspect...
Article
Objectives: Sexual orientation categories are commonly differentiated in the partner preference literature. Yet little is known about how the variability within each category influences partner preferences. Methods: We investigated women’s (N = 27,611) preferences for sexual dimorphism in male faces in relation to self-reports of sexual attraction...
Article
Background The aesthetic ideal of the nose eludes clear definition. Averageness may be an important determinant of ideal nasal shape: research has shown that averageness plays an important role in the human perception of facial attractiveness. Objectives To test whether an averaged nasal shape is attractive, and whether deviation away from average...
Article
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While first impressions of dominance and competence can influence leadership preference, social transmission of leadership preference has received little attention. The capacity to transmit, store and compute information has increased greatly over recent history, and the new media environment may encourage partisanship (i.e., “echo chambers”), misi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption causes a considerable disease burden and premature mortality. Despite considerable public health promotion of a healthy diet the average consumption is still below recommended levels. Fruit and vegetable consumption influences human skin colour, increasing red/yellow/orange pigment in the skin....
Article
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Recent studies reveal that violence significantly contributes to explaining individual’s facial preferences. Women who feel at higher risk of violence prefer less-masculine male faces. Given the importance of violence, we explore its influence on people’s preferences for a different physical trait. Masculinity correlates positively with male streng...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption causes a considerable disease burden and premature mortality. Despite considerable public health promotion of a healthy diet the average consumption is still below recommended levels. Fruit and vegetable consumption influences human skin colour, increasing red/yellow/orange pigment in the skin...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption causes a considerable disease burden and premature mortality. Despite public health promotion of a healthy diet, the average consumption is still below recommended levels. Fruit and vegetable consumption influences human skin color, increasing red/yellow/orange pigment in the skin. Given that th...
Article
Previous studies have highlighted the influence of conditional mating strategies in attractiveness preferences. “Good genes” and dominance cues are perceived as attractive when considering short-term relationships. In contrast, cues for better parenting abilities and trustworthiness are considered more attractive when participants ponder a long-ter...
Article
Much research has explored behaviours that are linked with disgust sensitivity. Few studies, however, have been devoted to understanding how fixed or variable disgust sensitivity is. We therefore aimed to examine whether disgust sensitivity can change with the environment by repeatedly testing students whose environment was not changing as well as...
Article
Full-text available
The faces of people who are sleep deprived are perceived by others as looking paler, less healthy and less attractive compared to when well rested. However, there is little research using objective measures to investigate sleep‐loss‐related changes in facial appearance. We aimed to assess the effects of sleep deprivation on skin colour, eye opennes...
Article
Full-text available
Body mass index (BMI) and its facial correlates influence a range of perceptions including masculinity and attractiveness. BMI conflates body fat and muscle which are sexually dimorphic because men typically have more muscle but less fat than women. We therefore investigated the influence of facial correlates of body composition (fat mass and muscl...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Receiving insufficient sleep has wide-ranging consequences for health and well-being. Although educational programs have been developed to promote sleep, these have had limited success in extending sleep duration. To address this gap, we developed a web-based program emphasizing how physical appearances change with varying amounts of sle...
Article
Background: Receiving insufficient sleep has wide-ranging consequences for health and well-being. Although educational programs have been developed to promote sleep, these have had limited success in extending sleep duration. To address this gap, we developed a Web-based program emphasizing how physical appearances change with varying amounts of s...
Article
Sexual dimorphism has been proposed as one of the facial traits to have evolved through sexual selection and to affect attractiveness perception. Even with numerous studies documenting its effect on attractiveness and mate choice, the neurophysiological correlates of the perception of sexual dimorphism are not yet fully understood. In the present s...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on mate preferences have demonstrated that women’s perception of male attractiveness is sensitive to men’s facial masculinity, and that women’s preferences for facial masculinity are subject to individual differences, such as own condition. These individual differences have been linked to potential trade-offs that women face given the hypot...
Article
Facial expressions of emotion contain important information that is perceived and used by observers to understand others’ emotional state. While there has been considerable research into perceptions of facial musculature and emotion, less work has been conducted to understand perceptions of facial coloration and emotion. The current research examin...
Article
Full-text available
Potential protection from violence has been suggested as an explanation for women’s preferences for more masculine partners. Previous studies, however, have not considered that violence may be multi-modal, and hence come from different sources. Therefore, we tested the effect of different fears of violence (i.e. vulnerability to public crime, likel...
Article
Full-text available
Facial cues contribute to attractiveness, including shape cues such as symmetry, averageness, and sexual dimorphism. These cues may represent cues to objective aspects of physiological health, thereby conferring an evolutionary advantage to individuals who find them attractive. The link between facial cues and aspects of physiological health is the...
Article
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Previous studies have found that individuals from rural areas in Malaysia and in El Salvador prefer heavier women than individuals from urban areas. Several explanations have been proposed to explain these differences in weight preferences but no study has explored familiarity as a possible explanation. We therefore sought to investigate participan...
Article
Although recent work suggests that opposite-sex facial attractiveness is less salient in memory when individuals are in a committed romantic relationship, romantic relationship quality can vary over time. In light of this, we tested whether activating concerns about romantic relationship quality strengthens memory for attractive faces. Partnered wo...
Article
Objective: Human skin colour is influenced by three pigments: haemoglobin, carotenoids, and melanin. Carotenoids are abundant in fruits and vegetables, and when consumed accumulate in all layers of the skin, predominantly imparting yellowness (b*). This study investigated the effect of the manipulation of carotenoid-based skin colour, relative to t...
Conference Paper
Sexual dimorphism, which corresponds to the phenotypic difference between males and female from the same species, is one of the main factors that was proven to influence facial attractiveness in humans. Although there are several studies about the impact of sexual dimorphism perception in mate choice, the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms ar...
Article
This paper examines the effects of different genres of body art on the perceived trustworthiness of hypothetical men and women with tattoos. It argues that body art is a salient cultural signal that denotes group membership and can also lead to the perception of a potential threat of harm on the part of the truster. The research finds that tattoos...
Article
Women's preferences for masculine male partners have been explained in terms of heritable health. The evidence between masculinity and health, however, is controversial and therefore, alternative explanations for masculinity preferences reflecting income inequality and protection from violence have been proposed. This study thus aimed to test the e...
Article
A recent study claimed face skin color as a sexually dimorphic variable that influences attractiveness preferences in mate choice. Thereby, skin color may assume the role of a mate quality signal influencing attractiveness preferences. As body odor is linked to attractiveness, this study aimed to explore whether the odors of men with more masculine...
Article
Past research has shown that peripheral and facial redness influences perceptions of attractiveness for men viewing women. The current research investigated whether a parallel effect is present when women rate men with varying facial redness. In four experiments, women judged the attractiveness of men’s faces, which were presented with varying degr...
Article
Skin colour may be an important cue to detect sickness in humans but how skin colour changes with acute sickness is currently unknown. To determine possible colour changes, 22 healthy Caucasian participants were injected twice, once with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, at a dose of 2 ng/kg body weight) and once with placebo (saline), in a randomised cross...
Article
Previous studies suggest that facial preferences may be contingent on an individual's environment, yet no study has traced how the preferences of the same individuals change as their environment changes. We therefore sought to determine if, and to what extent, adiposity and masculinity preferences are malleable by repeatedly testing students whose...
Article
Full-text available
Using mixed design analysis of variance (ANOVA), this paper investigates the effects of a subtle simulated increase in adiposity on women's employment chances in the service sector. Employing a unique simulation of altering individuals' BMIs and the literature on "aesthetic labour", the study suggests that, especially for women, being heavier, but...
Article
This paper examines trust judgements in the context of ‘mixed signals’, whereby the medium through which a signal is projected suggests untrustworthiness, but the signal itself suggests trustworthiness. Under conditions of ‘mixed signals’, trusters are left in a potential state of cognitive dissonance. The results of the research suggest that the p...
Poster
Body odours may possess an inherent higher level of relevance to the perceiver by assuming an evolutionary function of promoting one´s genes. It has been demonstrated that olfactory signals with high ecological importance, similarly to visual signals, are processed in a privileged way by the brain. Body odours of more masculine men might trigger hi...
Article
While some theories emphasize the influence of the ‘attractiveness halo’ on perceptions of intelligence, empirical evidence suggests that perceptions of attractiveness themselves can be influenced by perceptions of other desired traits such as intelligence. In an educational context, the effect of impressions of intelligence on teachers' expectatio...
Article
Full-text available
Impressions of health are integral to social interactions, yet poorly understood. A review of the literature reveals multiple facial characteristics that potentially act as cues to health judgements. The cues vary in their stability across time: structural shape cues including symmetry and sexual dimorphism alter slowly across the lifespan and have...
Article
Full-text available
One developmental factor that is associated with variation in reproductive strategy is pubertal timing. For instance, women who experience earlier menarche have their first pregnancy earlier and prefer more masculinized male voices. Early menarche may also lead to preferences for masculine faces, but no study has shown such a link. We therefore inv...
Article
Evidence for attraction to sexually dimorphic features in male faces is inconsistent in the literature. Mixed results regarding facial masculinity and male attractiveness may arise partly from different influences of face shape and face colouration depending on whether colour was controlled. Recent research suggests that masculinity in face colour,...
Article
Full-text available
Impression formation is profoundly influenced by facial attractiveness, but the existence of facial cues which affect judgments beyond such an "attractiveness halo" may be underestimated. Because depression and tiredness adversely affect cognitive capacity, we reasoned that facial cues to mood (mouth curvature) and alertness (eyelid-openness) affec...
Article
In the present research, we investigated whether the red-attraction relation that has been observed for men viewing women may also be observed with regard to women's facial redness. We manipulated facial redness by slightly increasing or decreasing the redness on the faces of baseline pictures of target women, and then had men judge the attractiven...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the old adage not to 'judge a book by its cover', facial cues often guide first impressions and these first impressions guide our decisions. Literature suggests there are valid facial cues that assist us in assessing someone's health or intelligence, but such cues are overshadowed by an 'attractiveness halo' whereby desirable attributions a...
Article
When making decisions between options, humans are expected to choose the option that returns the highest benefit. In practice, however, adding inferior alternatives to the choice set can alter these decisions. Here we investigated whether decisions over the facial features that people find healthy looking can also be affected by the context in whic...
Article
Formidability is an important cue to male intrasexual competitiveness. While previous studies suggest that strength can be accurately perceived from faces, little is known regarding the specific morphological cues that are used to form judgments of strength. Here, we used a set of three-dimensional color- and texture-standardized Caucasian faces to...
Article
Using mixed design analysis of variance, this paper examines the effect of body art on job applicant hireability ratings. It employs the literatures on the social psychologies of stigma and prejudice, as well as aesthetic labor, to frame the argument. The results indicate that photos of tattooed and pierced job applicants result in lower hireabilit...
Poster
Face attractiveness preferences are influenced by conditional mating strategies, namely those linked with relationship context (short- or long-term relationships). As previous studies have focused mainly on sexually dimorphic traits (masculinity versus femininity), this study aimed to examine female and male attractiveness preferences for faces var...
Article
Several studies have examined the individual effects of facial cues to height, masculinity, and age on interpersonal interactions and partner preferences. We know much less about the influence of these traits on each other. We, therefore, examined how facial cues to height, masculinity, and age influence perceptions of each other and found signific...
Article
Full-text available
Fruit and vegetables contain carotenoid pigments, which accumulate in human skin, contributing to its yellowness. This effect has a beneficial impact on appearance. The aim was to evaluate associations between diet (fruit, vegetable and dietary carotenoid intakes) and skin color in young women. Ninety-one Caucasian women (Median and Interquartile R...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown that women are more sensitive than men to subtle cuteness differences in infant faces. It has been suggested that raised levels in estradiol and progesterone may be responsible for this advantage. We compared young women's sensitivity to computer-manipulated baby faces varying in cuteness. Thirty-six women were tested once...
Article
Appearance-based interventions have had some success in reducing smoking and sun exposure. Appearance may also motivate dietary behavior change if it was established that dietary improvement had a positive impact on appearance. The aims of this review are to evaluate the current evidence examining the relationship between dietary intake and appeara...
Article
Recent studies suggest that judgments of facial masculinity reflect more than sexually dimorphic shape. Here, we investigated whether the perception of masculinity is influenced by facial cues to body height and weight. We used the average differences in three-dimensional face shape of forty men and forty women to compute a morphological masculinit...
Article
The modulating effect of emotional expression on the rewarding nature of attractive and nonattractive female faces in heterosexual men was explored in a motivated viewing paradigm. This paradigm, which is an indicator of neural reward, requires the viewer to expend effort to maintain or reduce image-viewing times. Males worked to extend the viewing...
Article
Full-text available
Face judgments of dominance play an important role in human social interaction. Perceived facial dominance is thought to indicate physical formidability, as well as resource acquisition and holding potential. Dominance cues in the face affect perceptions of attractiveness, emotional state, and physical strength. Most experimental paradigms test per...