Thomas Pollet

Thomas Pollet
Northumbria University · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

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152
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (152)
Article
Loneliness is linked to many negative health outcomes and places strain on the economy and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. To combat these issues, the determinants of loneliness need to be fully understood. Although friendships have been shown to be particularly important in relation to loneliness in older adults, this associatio...
Article
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Studies of non‐autistic individuals and people with an intellectual disability show that contextual information impacts positively on emotion recognition ability, however, this area is not well researched with autistic adults. We investigated this using a static emotion recognition task. Participants completed an emotion recognition task in person...
Article
In 1996, Zeanah & Schwarz proposed a new measurement instrument for capturing sexual self-esteem in women (SSEI-W). This 81 item measure is a multidimensional measure, allowing for both the calculation of an overall scale and scores for five subscale components. Since its conception, this measure has been broadly used not just with student samples...
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Objectives: The size of one's support network is positively related to health and well-being. It is therefore important to understand this association in people with Type 1 diabetes, as this could inform interventions. Moreover, the type of support (emotional, instrumental, informational) offered likely varies by gender of both the person seeking s...
Article
Verbal denigration of personal body size and shape ("fat talk") is correlated with, and can have a causal influence on body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. What is less clear is who is most likely to fat talk. To address this, Corning and Gondoli (2012) conducted a study confirming that a woman's body dissatisfaction directly predicted their...
Article
Psychological concerns are frequently indexed by psychometric questionnaires but the mental representations that they seek to quantify are difficult to visualise. We used a set of questionnaires designed to measure men’s concept of their bodies including: the Drive for Muscularity Scale (DMS; McCreary & Sasse, 2000), the Perceived Sociocultural Pre...
Article
High levels of loneliness are associated with poorer outcomes for physical and mental health and a large body of research has examined how using social media sites such as Facebook is associated with loneliness. Time spent on Facebook tends to be associated with higher levels of loneliness, whereas a larger number of Facebook Friends and more activ...
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In the past, the terms ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ had negative social connotations, but so-called ‘Geek’ subculture is becoming increasingly mainstream, and its social and economic influence is expanding. There has been very little psychological research into this subculture and its associated personality types, but some authors have reported links with nar...
Article
Friendship networks are instrumental to a whole range of outcomes including career success and personal wellbeing, and as such it is important to ask how social networks are shaped by personality variables. However, previous research examining how extraversion is associated with social network size and closeness to social network members has produc...
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Infant facial features are typically perceived as “cute,” provoking caretaking behaviours. Previous research has focused on adults' perceptions of baby cuteness, and examined how these perceptions are influenced by events of the adult reproductive lifespan, such as ovulation and menopause. However, globally, individuals of all ages, including pre‐p...
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Middleborns have been argued to be the neglected birth order. The present study aimed to test whether the emotional closeness to parents, siblings or friends differed between middleborns and otherborns, across two different datasets. Using a between family design this study accounted for gender, nationality, educational attainment, age and sibship...
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Jealousy is a key emotion studied in the context of romantic relationships. One seminal study (Dijkstra, P., & Buunk, B. (1998). Jealousy as a function of rival characteristics: An evolutionary perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24 (11), 1158–1166. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672982411003) investigated the interactions betwee...
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Background: Male height is positively associated with social dominance, and more agonistic/competitive behaviours. However, the 'Napoleon complex' or 'small man syndrome' suggests that smaller males are more assertive and punitive to compensate for lack of height and social dominance. Here, we assess possible relationships between height and punit...
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Psychologists regularly draw inferences about populations based on data from small samples of people, and so have long been interested in how well those samples generalise to wider populations. There is a consensus that psychology probably relies too much on samples from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies and a...
Article
We used a high-level adaptation paradigm to distinguish between two hypotheses: (1) perceptual and attitudinal body image measurements reflect conceptually different mechanisms which are statistically independent of each other; (2) attitudinal (e.g., questionnaire) and perceptual (e.g., visual yes-no) body image tasks represent two different ways o...
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Recent findings have shown that both mean levels of personality and situational variability in its expression are of importance. So here, the Big Five personality traits of 77 professional and 125 amateur stand-up comedians were compared with two large matched samples ( N > 100,000). The comedians were also observed while performing, which enabled...
Article
Several lab‐based studies have indicated that when people are hungry, they judge larger women's bodies as more attractive, compared to when they are satiated. These satiety‐dependent judgements are assumed to provide explanatory power when it comes to the noted cross‐cultural differences in attitudes towards women's adiposity, whereby people who li...
Preprint
Several experimental studies have indicated that when people are hungry, they assess larger women’s bodies as more attractive, compared to when they are satiated. These satiety-dependent judgements are assumed to contribute to the noted cross-cultural differences in attitudes towards women’s adiposity. However, it is premature to make this assumpti...
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Research has shown a positive association between cues of physical formidability and perceptions of status, supporting a generic “bigger-is-better” heuristic. However, does better also lead to appraisals as bigger? Recent research suggests that the perceptual association between body size and social status can also be explained in terms of prestige...
Preprint
Jealousy is a key emotion studied in the context of romantic relationships. One of the seminal studies in this area is by Dijkstra & Buunk (1998), which examined the effect of rival characteristics on jealousy. In a study with vignettes, they found that women reported more jealousy to an attractive rival, as opposed to an unattractive one, than men...
Article
Background Research shows people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have poorer emotion recognition (ER) compared to their typically developing (TD) peers. However, it is not known whether this is the case when stimuli are limited to gesture and posture, and lack facial expressions. Method Fifty-four children with (n = 27) and without (n = 27) AS...
Article
Color has been argued to exert a powerful effect on motivation and behavior. This has led researchers, most notably in social psychology, to examine the effects of color on perceptions of (sexual) attractiveness. Building on a body of work on the ‘romantic red effect’ Lin (2014) found evidence that the color of a laptop influenced ratings of a woma...
Preprint
Personality factors affect the properties of ‘offline’ social networks, but how they are associated with the structural properties of online networks is still unclear. We investigated how the six HEXACO personality factors (Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience) relate to Facebook...
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Background: Epidemiological surveys on depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among civilian war survivors in war-afflicted regions have produced heterogeneous prevalence estimates of these conditions. Methods: To determine the prevalence of both depression and PTSD in civilian war survivors in the area of conflict, we conducted a s...
Preprint
Social relationships are important for psychological well-being and as Facebook is an inherently social platform, research has focused on how Facebook use is associated with indicators of psychological well-being such as loneliness. Time spent on Facebook tends to be associated with higher levels of loneliness, whereas a larger number of Facebook F...
Article
Full-text available
Using a recently developed alternative assay procedure to measure hormone levels from hair samples, we examined the relationships between testosterone, cortisol, 2D:4D ratio, overconfidence and risk taking. A total of 162 (53 male) participants provided a 3 cm sample of hair, a scanned image of their right and left hands from which we determined 2D...
Article
Major natural disasters often prompt charities to start rallying for extra donations. However, little is known about which variables predict disaster donations most strongly. Here we focused on donations to victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (2013). A multifaceted approach combined three potential predictors: (a) prosocial traits (social...
Preprint
Color has been argued to exert a powerful effect on motivation and behavior. This has led researchers, most notably in social psychology, to examine the effects of color on perceptions of (sexual) attractiveness. Building on a body of work on the ‘romantic red effect’, Lin (2014) found evidence that the color of a laptop influenced ratings of a wom...
Article
Full-text available
Research shows that perception of physical size and status are positively associated. The current study was developed to replicate and extend earlier research on height perceptions of political leaders, indicating that supporters perceive their leaders as taller than non-supporters do, and winners are perceived as taller after the elections, while...
Data
Data parts one and two merged. (SAV)
Data
Electronic Supplementary Materials. (DOCX)
Article
Studies across a range of species have shown that sociability has positive fitness consequences. Among baboons, both increased infant survival and adult longevity have been associated with the maintenance of strong, equitable and durable social bonds. However, not all baboon populations show these patterns of bonding. South African chacma baboons (...
Article
Human adult sex ratios have been studied extensively across the biological and social sciences. While several studies have examined adult sex ratio effects in a multilevel perspective, many studies have focused on effects at an aggregated level only. In this paper, we review some key issues relating to such analyses. We address not only nation-leve...
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The watching eyes effect has been hotly debated in recent years. Interestingly, field studies often reveal strong effects of eye images on various forms of prosociality. Here, we explored the watching eyes effect on prosociality – in terms of lost letter return rates. We conducted three field experiments, in which we dropped a total of 540 letters...
Article
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Outlier removal is common in hormonal research. Here we investigated to what extent removing outliers in hormonal data leads to divergent statistical conclusions. We first show that the most common outlier detection rule is based on a number of standard deviations (SD) from the mean. Next, we used simulations to examine the degree to which statisti...
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Color-in-context theory is the first theoretical framework for understanding color effects in human mate preferences, arguing that red clothing enhances attractiveness ratings. Here we present three empirical studies failing to support this prediction. We aimed to extend the current literature by differentiating color effects by temporal context (s...
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Objectives: The study of assortative mating for height has a rich history in human biology. Although the positive correlation between the stature of spouses has often been noted in western populations, recent papers suggest that mating patterns for stature are not universal. The objective of this paper was to review the published evidence to exami...
Article
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Evolutionary psychologists have argued for evolved sex differences in human mate preferences (e.g., (Buss and Barnes Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50,559–570, 1986; Buss American Scientist 73,47–51, 1985, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12, 1–49, 1989, 1994). Specifically, they have suggested that men and women place different values o...
Article
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Previous work has examined how specific personality dimensions are associated with social network characteristics. However, it is unclear how the full range of personality traits relates to the quantity and quality of relationships at different network layers. This study (N = 525) investigates how the six HEXACO personality dimensions relate to the...
Article
This meta-analysis aimed at determining the efficacy of psychological and psychopharmacological interventions for children and adolescents suffering from symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A search using the Medline, PsycINFO, and PILOTS databases was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for pediatric PTSD. The s...
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In this paper we consider whether people with similar personality traits have a preference for common locations. Due to the difficulty in tracking and categorising the places that individuals choose to visit, this is largely unexplored. However, the recent popularity of location-based social networks (LBSNs) provides a means to gain new insight int...
Research
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Data analysis methods, supplementary tables, data sets and R Code
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Research from evolutionary psychology suggests that the mere presence of eye images can promote prosocial behavior. However, the “eye images effect” is a source of considerable debate, and findings across studies have yielded somewhat inconsistent support. We suggest that one critical factor may be whether the eyes really need to be watching to eff...
Article
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The existence of individual differences in personality can be puzzling from an evolutionary perspective. This paper offers a general framework for addressing this puzzle by combining insights from evolutionary, situational, and personality perspectives. To arrive at this framework, we first discuss three key evolutionary models for explaining perso...
Article
An experimental science relies on solid and replicable results. The last few years have seen a rich discussion on the reliability and validity of psychological science and whether our experimental findings can falsify our existing theoretical models. But concerns have also arisen that this movement may put a halt to theoretical developments. In thi...
Article
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Research has shown that the mere presence of stimuli that resemble eyes is sufficient to attract attention, elicit aesthetic responses, and can even enhance prosocial behavior. However, it is less clear whether eye-like stimuli could also be used as a tool for nature conservation. Several animal species, including butterflies, develop eye-like mark...
Article
Heterosexual age preferences have been extensively studied by evolutionary psychologists, social psychologists, and demographers. Much less is known about such preferences in homosexual men and women. Around two decades ago, D. T. Kenrick, R. C. Keefe, A. Bryan, A. Barr, and S. Brown (1995) examined heterosexual and homosexual mating preferences fo...
Article
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Many thanks to Bryant (2015) for keeping the conversation lively, and engaging in further debate on our paper (Barrett et al., 2014). Although Bryant raises several interesting points, it appears that, as with our previous commentators, there was some misunderstanding of our aim, which simply was to answer the question posed for us: does evolutiona...
Article
In a recent article, Berdahl, Uhlmann, and Bai (2015) reported that countries with higher gender equality won more medals at the 2012 and 2014 Olympic games. This relation held for both female and male athletes. The authors, however, did not control for GDP per capita, or take into account the clustering of countries in regions. Here we show that c...
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Historical records suggest that the political extremes—at both the “left” and the “right”—substantially endorsed conspiracy beliefs about other-minded groups. The present contribution empirically tests whether extreme political ideologies, at either side of the political spectrum, are positively associated with an increased tendency to believe in c...
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We thank Klasios (2014)1 and Stephen et al. (2014)2 for their commentaries on our paper (Barrett et al., 2014)3. Criticisms like these can only help to improve the quality of arguments offered on both sides. Both Klasios's and Stephen et al.'s commentaries generate misconceptions, however, about the aim of our article and our stated position. Befor...
Article
Field data often include multiple observations taken from the same individual. In order to avoid pseudoreplication, it is commonplace to aggregate data, generating a mean score per individual, and then using these aggregated data in subsequent analyses. Aggregation, however, can generate problems of its own. Not only does it lead to a loss of infor...
Article
Résumés are screened rapidly, with some reports stating that recruiters form their impressions within 10 seconds. Certain résumé characteristics can have a significant impact on the snap judgments these recruiters make. The main goal of the present study was to examine the effect of the e-mail address (formal vs. informal) used in a résumé on the h...
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Across cultures, taller stature is linked to increased social status, but the potential reasons why this should be are unclear. One potential explanation is that taller individuals are more likely to win a dyadic confrontation with a competitor (i.e., they are more dominant), which leads to higher social rank. Although some previous studies have sh...
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Using resemblance cues, people can identify highly related kin and treat them preferentially over less related or unrelated individuals, all else being equal. However, differences in degrees of resemblance can occur even within particular kin categories, such as siblings. We hypothesized that the level of perceived resemblance between siblings will...
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In humans, studies have shown that contrast illusions can affect perceptions of facial attractiveness and dominance. In non-human animals, recent research found that contrast illusions of size positively affected male mate value. In humans, male height is a potentially important indicator of mate value, with women preferring men taller than themsel...
Article
In the short history of behavioral immune system (BIS) research, scholars have developed a number of empirical strategies for testing BIS hypotheses. These strategies have led to a wide variety of methods for testing (putatively) similar BIS hypotheses. The current article provides an overview of the 3 most frequent methods used in BIS research: cr...
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Does evolutionary theorizing have a role in psychology? This is a more contentious issue than one might imagine, given that as evolved creatures, the answer must surely be yes. The contested nature of evolutionary psychology lies not in our status as evolved beings, but in the extent to which evolutionary ideas add value to studies of human behavio...
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Many recent evolutionary psychology and human behavioral ecology studies have tested hypotheses by examining correlations between variables measured at a group level (e.g., state, country, continent). In such analyses, variables collected for each aggregation are often taken to be representative of the individuals present within them, and relations...
Article
Objectives Although male height is positively associated with many aspects of mate quality, average height men attain higher reproductive success in US populations. We hypothesize that this is because the advantages associated with taller stature accrue mainly from not being short, rather than from being taller than average. Lower fertility by shor...
Conference Paper
Physical size is related to status in many species – including humans – and may affect both real and perceived status. Here, we investigate the relationship between social status and assessments of physical size in humans. We distinguish between different aspects of physical size (height and muscularity) and different pathways to obtain status in g...