Mitch Brown

Mitch Brown
University of Arkansas | U of A · Department of Psychological Science

Doctor of Philosophy

About

120
Publications
65,850
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
672
Citations
Introduction
My research concerns the evolutionary basis of affordance judgments. Specifically, I study how facial structures and features provide veridical cues of various social values (e.g., mates, coalitional allies). This has included facially communicated personality and limbal rings. Importantly, this work has resulted in identifying preferences for certain conspecifics based on their perceived abilities to satisfy salient social motives.
Additional affiliations
June 2019 - July 2020
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2015 - June 2019
University of Southern Mississippi
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • I conduct research investigating the adaptive properties of motivation and social cognition and perception, particularly those pertaining to mate preferences and behavioral immune system responses.
August 2014 - May 2015
University of Dayton
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • I have been the instructor for these courses: Statistics
Education
August 2015 - May 2019
University of Southern Mississippi
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Full-text available
Limbal rings are dark annuli encircling the iris that fluctuate in visibility based on health and age. Research also indicates their presence augments facial attractiveness. Given individuals’ prioritization of health cues in short-term mates, those with limbal rings may be implicated as ideal short-term mates. Three studies tested whether limbal r...
Article
Full-text available
Recent findings suggest that moral outrage signals trustworthiness to others, and such perceptions play a uniquely important role in identifying social opportunities. We conducted four studies (N = 870) investigating how displays of moral outrage are perceived in the specific context of mating. Results indicated participants, particularly women, fo...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals use facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) to infer men's formidability. We hypothesized that fWHR assessments would form a basis for men's coalitional value, with high-fWHR men being valuable in roles requiring physical strength. Five studies (N = 1323) tested how perceptions of formidability influence coalitional decisions. In addition t...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying reproductive opportunities and intrasexual rivals has necessitated the evolution of sensitivity to features diagnostic of mate value. In determining the presence of good genes through physical features, individuals may additionally infer targets’ short- and long-term mating orientations. This study tested how individuals perceive men an...
Article
Full-text available
The centrality of religiosity in selecting long-term mates suggests atheism could be undesirable for that context. Given recent findings suggesting several positive stereotypes about atheists, a largely distrusted group, individuals could prefer atheists in mating domains not emphasizing long-term commitment (i.e., short-term mating). Two studies t...
Article
Individuals infer men's formidability through various facial and bodily features. Such inferences covary with perceptions of men's personalities and motivational states, potentially informing subsequent affiliative decisions. Within these inferences could be an implicit understanding of men's preferred humor styles. Across four studies, this resear...
Article
Full-text available
Despite presenting several physiological and social benefits, yawning remains a highly stigmatized behavior across various cultures. Given evidence for an association between illness and the proclivity to yawn, it could be possible that yawning provides a heuristic cue to disease transmission between conspecifics. This aversion to yawning could thu...
Article
Previous research indicates that women frequently use red clothing to signal their sexual receptivity, with men and women both recognizing this as a reliable cue to such receptivity. Nonetheless, receptivity cues can inform perceptions of women's culpability for experiencing sexual assault. Thus, women experiencing sexual assault could become more...
Article
Full-text available
Given disparities in the number and success of female relative to male‐led businesses, the current program of research tested whether gender‐based company cues, employment sector (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics [STEM] vs. non‐STEM) and CEO gender lead to disparities in willingness to invest in start‐up companies. Using both unive...
Article
Full-text available
Having an agreed-upon definition of character education would be useful for both researchers and practitioners in the field. However, even experts in character education disagree on how they would define it. We attempted to achieve greater conceptual clarity on this issue through a prototype analysis in which the features perceived as most central...
Article
Full-text available
Selecting formidable male coalitions to navigate intergroup threats and resource acquisition evolved to enhance survival through group living, given men's enhanced ability to extract and protect resources through physical aggression. Though advantageous in certain contexts, formidable men can nonetheless inflict intragroup costs, suggesting prefere...
Article
Full-text available
Character strengths have become a popular topic in personality research. A set of questionnaires has recently been developed as measures of character strengths: the VIA Inventory of Strengths-Revised, two 96-item short forms of that instrument, and two new measures called the Global Assessment of Character Strengths and Signature Strengths Survey....
Preprint
Previous research indicates that women frequently use red clothing to signal their sexual receptivity, with men and women both recognizing as a reliable cue to this receptivity. Nonetheless, receptivity cues can inform perceptions of women’s culpability for experiencing sexual assault. Thus, women experiencing sexual assault could become more of a...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the adaptive advantages of social affiliation in humans, the benefits of interpersonal contact are nonetheless bounded. The experience of crowding can emerge from an oversaturation of social affiliation, fostering avoidant behaviors and heightening vigilance toward interpersonal threats. Among these features indicative of threat includes fa...
Article
Full-text available
The selection of formidable male allies within coalitional settings is partially in the service of ensuring protection from physical threats for group members. Within these inferences could include specific judgments of formidable men as being effective at providing protection for their offspring, a judgment that could facilitate identification of...
Article
Systemic efforts have been employed to improve the reproducibility of published findings in psychology. To date, little research has been conducted evaluating how well these efforts work. In an effort to bridge this gap, the current study looked at journal submission requirements intended to encourage authors to engage in best practices for facilit...
Article
Full-text available
Humans infer men’s formidability through their facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), subsequently eliciting perceptions of men’s capability to engage in aggressive physical conflict. Inferring formidable men as being particularly resistant to mental distress from physical conflict may pose downstream consequences, such as biasing mental health asses...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Recent findings suggest crowd salience heightens pathogen-avoidant motives, serving to reduce individuals’ infection risk through interpersonal contact. Such experiences may similarly facilitate the identification, and avoidance, of diseased conspecifics. The current experiment sought to replicate and extend previous crowding research.Met...
Preprint
The selection of formidable male allies within coalitional settings is partially in the service of ensuring protection from physical threats for group members. Within these inferences could include specific judgments of formidable men as being particularly effective at providing protection for their offspring, a functional judgment that could facil...
Preprint
Identifying reproductive opportunities and intrasexual rivals has necessitated the evolution of sensitivity to features diagnostic of mate value. In determining the presence of good genes through physical features, individuals may additionally infer targets’ short- and long-term mating motives. This study tested how individuals perceive men and wom...
Preprint
Social bargaining models posit physically formidable men tend to pursue strategies for acquiring resources and status through direct competition and promoting hierarchical social organization. Previous research indicates that formidable men espouse more conservative political viewpoints, as a means of advancing social policies favoring use of aggre...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have evolved perceptual acuity toward environmental cues heuristically associated with communicable disease that elicits an aversion. One heuristic cue that humans utilize to infer contamination threat is ingroup-outgroup status, with prejudices arising toward outgroup members due to potential novel pathogen exposure. The current study sough...
Preprint
Full-text available
Character strengths have become a popular topic in personality research. A set of questionnaires has recently been developed as measures of character strengths: the VIA Inventory of Strengths-Revised, two 96-item short forms of that instrument, and two new measures called the Global Assessment of Character Strengths and Signature Strengths Survey....
Article
Full-text available
Replicating and extending previous findings, we report two high-powered studies exploring how heterosexual men and women's decisions to change or keep their surnames following marriage influence perceptions of various marital outcomes as a function of perceivers' sexist attitudes. Participants in Study 1 evaluated men and women who indicated keepin...
Article
Full-text available
We tested whether temporary social needs satisfaction through social surrogacy would ensure greater willingness to adhere to social distancing recommendations elicited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were randomly assigned to social exclusion or inclusion via Cyberball (n = 534) followed by either a social surrogacy manipulation (imagine fav...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals were advised to adhere to social distancing guidelines limiting physical interpersonal contact. Humans have a suite of adaptations to satisfy belonging needs while avoiding diseased conspecifics. Competition between motivational systems may explain adherence and resistance to social distancing guidelines an...
Article
Full-text available
Recent findings suggest that behavioral repertoires frequently conceptualized as virtuous possess a fundamental nature that implicates virtues as highly desirable in facilitating group living through factors of caring, self-control, and inquisitiveness. Although much of this desirability has previously demonstrated in mating domains, it could be po...
Preprint
Recent findings suggest that behavioral repertoires frequently conceptualized as virtuous possess a fundamental nature that implicates virtues as highly desirable in facilitating group living through factors of caring, self-control, and inquisitiveness. Although much of this desirability has previously demonstrated in mating domains, it could be po...
Article
Full-text available
Much research suggests mental health diagnoses elicit stigmatization of individuals. The current study builds upon this literature at the intersection of same- and cross-race perceptions. Black and White participants viewed Black and White targets paired with either a mental health diagnosis (e.g., depression), a physical health diagnosis (e.g., hi...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are an intensely social species with a pervasive need for affiliation and social interaction. However, satisfying this fundamental motive comes with risk, including increased exposure to others' communicable pathogens. Consequently, disease mitigation strategies may require humans to downregulate their interest in socialization when pathogen...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals were advised to adhere to various social distancing guidelines to limit physical interpersonal contact. Humans have a suite of adaptations to effectively satisfy belonging needs while avoiding diseased conspecifics, and competition between these motivational systems may explain adherence and resistance to c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals use facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) to infer dominance and fighting ability of others. We hypothesized that broad assessments of target formidability from fWHR would form a basis for determining men’s coalitional value, with high-fWHR men being especially valuable in roles requiring physical strength. Across five studies (N=1,445),...
Article
Full-text available
We examined if perceiving oneself as burdensome, due to performing poorly in a group, can lead to feelings associated with ostracism (to be excluded and ignored). Participants completed a typing game (Study 1) or solved Remote Associates Test (RAT; Study 2) items where they performed worse, equal, or better than the group. To focus on the influence...
Article
Full-text available
Given the increasing popularity of crowdsourced fundraisers, understanding how characteristics of funding initiatives and donors influence donations has critical real-world implications. Across two studies, we identified potential situational factors most conducive to successful crowdsourcing while also determining whether individual differences in...
Article
Full-text available
The VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtue has received substantial attention since its inception as a model of 24 dimensions of positive human functioning, but less so as a potential contributor to a psychological science on the nature of virtue. The current paper presents an overview of how this classification could serve to advance...
Preprint
Full-text available
Having an agreed-upon definition of character education would be useful for both researchers and practitioners in the field. However, even experts in character education disagree on how they would define it. We attempted to achieve greater conceptual clarity on this issue through a prototype analysis in which the features perceived as most central...
Article
Selecting formidable male coalitions to navigate intergroup threats and resource acquisition evolved to enhance survival through group living, given men's enhanced ability to extract and protect resources through physical aggression. Though advantageous in certain contexts, formidable men can nonetheless inflict intragroup costs, suggesting prefere...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce disease transmission through interpersonal contact, humans have evolved a behavioral immune system that facilitates identification and avoidance of pathogens. One behavioral strategy in response to pathogenic threat is the adoption of interpersonal reticence. However, reticence may impede status acquisition. This program of research teste...
Presentation
Full-text available
Video of my talk from Association for Moral Education Conference 2020
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation of two experiments investigating how fWHR influences perceptions of men as fathers in protective and nurturing domains.
Article
Past research has established that gratitude, a sense of appreciation for the benefits one has received, is a moral emotion that motivates reciprocity. How does gratitude influence moral evaluations generally? The current paper provides a novel investigation of the relationships between trait gratitude and moral outrage, an index of concern over sp...
Preprint
Male facial structures are associated with men’s formidability. Those possessing a high facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) are perceived as especially formidable. Although such men would be perceived as interpersonally threatening, inclusion of such men in group living could prove advantageous in certain social contexts. Defeated men typically ing...
Article
Full-text available
Though much research has explored how facial and bodily features connote heritable fitness, particularly in the context of short-term mating, such cues similarly may influence perceptions of potential parenting ability. The current study explored how body fat variation and breast size in female targets and body fat and muscularity variation in male...
Article
Full-text available
The original version of this article contained an error in how the results of a prior research study were reported.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research demonstrates positive associations between physical formidability and endorsement of conservative social policies entailing aggressive competition and hierarchical inequality. Similar ideological differences are associated with coalitional status. The current research extended findings by testing associations of formidability and...
Article
Full-text available
Selecting a long-term romantic partner is largely contingent upon identifying behavioral repertoires indicating an ability to foster individual and communal flourishing through benevolence and relational fidelity. Within this suite of socially desirable traits are virtues that could be critical in selecting long-term mates. The current program of r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Selecting a long-term romantic partner is largely contingent upon identifying behavioral repertoires indicating an ability to foster individual and communal flourishing through benevolence and relational fidelity. Within this suite of socially desirable traits are virtues that could be critical in selecting long-term mates. The current program of r...
Article
Full-text available
When evaluating someone as a potential social acquaintance, people prefer affiliative, pleasant individuals. This necessitates the evolution of perceptual acuity in distinguishing between genuinely prosocial traits and those connoting exploitative intentions. Such intentions can be readily inferred through facial structures connoting personality, e...
Article
Full-text available
As concern over the use of questionable research practices (QRPs) in academic science has increased over the last couple of decades, some reforms have been implemented and many others have been debated and recommended. While many of these proposals have merit, efforts to improve scientific practices are more likely to succeed when they are responsi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human facial structures communicate personality from which one can infer another’s behavioral intentions, forming a basis for mate selection. One particularly detectable trait through facial structures is extraversion. Extraversion is a trait associated with heightened interest in promiscuous mating strategies and preferred among individuals simila...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent findings suggest that moral outrage serves an interpersonal function of signaling trustworthiness to others and such perceptions play a uniquely important role in identifying social opportunities. We conducted four studies investigating how behavioral displays of moral outrage are perceived in the specific context of mating. Results indicate...
Article
Full-text available
The current study tasked undergraduates with serving as hypothetical human resource workers to evaluate complaints of offensive and inoffensive humor used by male and female employees in a fictitious company who varied in employment status and age. Offensive humor was deemed more problematic in its usage, particularly among female perceivers. Contr...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the service of reducing disease transmission through interpersonal contact, humans have evolved a behavioral immune system that facilitates identification and avoidance of environmental pathogens. One behavioral strategy in response to pathogenic threat is the adoption of interpersonal reticence. However, reticence may impede status acquisition,...
Article
Full-text available
Two preregistered studies explored the likelihood paper reviewers would request clarification from authors regarding potential questionable research practices (QRPs). Study 1 participants were instructed to imagine reviewing a journal manuscript as either a coauthor or peer reviewer and rate the extent to which they would request clarification from...
Article
Full-text available
Limbal rings augment perceived facial health and attractiveness. We thus expected sensitivity to their presence would depend on motives to seek alternative relationship partners among those feeling insecure about a current pairbond. Despite partnered women’s relative insensitivity to good gene cues, partnered women feeling relationally dissatisfied...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past couple of decades, the apparent widespread occurrence of Questionable Research Practices (QRPs) in scientific research has been widely discussed in the research ethics literature as a source of concern. Various ways of reducing their use have been proposed and implemented, ranging from improved training and incentives for adopting bes...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Although typically considered a stable trait, character strengths may be subject to temporal changes. Whereas research has investigated these changes across adulthood, the pivotal period of adolescence remains relatively understudied. Method: To identify potential developmental differences in character strengths, we conducted a cro...
Article
Full-text available
Affiliative and pathogen-avoidant motives adaptively influence interpersonal preferences. For facial structures connoting extraversion, affiliative motives heighten preferences for extraverted faces, whereas pathogen-avoidant motives downregulate preferences. Despite what appears to be competing tension between motives for preferences in extraverte...
Article
Full-text available
Research consistently demonstrates that limbal rings are a visual cue to health, given their peak vibrancy is observed in healthy individuals. Such perceptual acuity toward limbal rings is especially apparent among women evaluating male faces. The current research was designed as a replication and extension of previous findings demonstrating how wo...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: In this study, we tested a simple, active "ethical consistency" intervention aimed at reducing researchers' endorsement of questionable research practices (QRPs). Methods: We developed a simple, active ethical consistency intervention and tested it against a control using an established QRP survey instrument. Before responding to a...
Article
Full-text available
Lay skepticism toward empirically supported scientific research has increased significantly in recent years. Given that part of the social contract of science is the betterment of society, it is critical for the scientific community to identify factors underlying public dismissal versus support of scientific evidence. The current study explores how...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals are motivated to maintain a sense of meaning, and enact cognitive processes to do so (e.g., perceiving structure in the environment). This motivation to find meaning may ultimately impact humans’ interpretation of bullshit, statements intended to convey profundity without any. Conversely, subtle cues threatening the meaningfulness of bu...
Article
Full-text available
Social affiliation in humans is ubiquitous and adaptive, albeit bounded. For example, crowding is experienced as aversive, and fosters reticent and avoidant behaviors in the service of mitigating contact with potentially threatening conspecifics. Given the integral role of physical proximity in disease transmission, this suggests that crowd salienc...
Article
Full-text available
Social exclusion elicits undesirable consequences, result from individuals ostracizing others for threatening the group by emitting indicators of disease normative traits, including disabilities. Given the stigmatization faced by individuals with disabilities, the especially pervasive, especially among university students. We sought to determine if...
Article
Full-text available
The current study sought to determine research scientists’ sensitivity to various justifications for engaging in behaviors typically considered to be questionable research practices (QRPs) by asking them to evaluate the appropriateness and ethical defensibility of each. Utilizing a within-subjects design, 107 National Institutes of Health principal...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have evolved a capability to identify and subsequently avoid communicable pathogens. The current research tested whether activation of this system can be co-opted by disease metaphors, which frame abstract social issues as concrete disease risks. We predicted that language framing immigration as a disease would elicit heightened anti-immigra...
Article
Full-text available
We designed and tested the efficacy of a 1-hr training session to mitigate endorsement of questionable research practices (QRPs), research practices that raise ethical concerns and are detrimental to reproducible science, in psychology graduate students. We assessed attitudes toward QRPs 1 week prior to the training, 1 week following the training,...