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Sexuality
Health & Fitness
Science
Social Sciences

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

Updated about 1 month ago

Sexuality
Health & Fitness
Science
Social Sciences
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Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

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Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
8
1
2
2

Wonderful

By obtrunco - Jan 17 2019
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I'm always waiting for the next episode. Great info but scarce in frequency.

Interesting stuff

By pleaz - May 20 2017
Read more
Interesting exploration of psychology research, with funny, engaging host.

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
8
1
2
2

Wonderful

By obtrunco - Jan 17 2019
Read more
I'm always waiting for the next episode. Great info but scarce in frequency.

Interesting stuff

By pleaz - May 20 2017
Read more
Interesting exploration of psychology research, with funny, engaging host.
Cover image of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

Latest release on Jul 15, 2019

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Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

Rank #1: Why do we cuddle? Oct 2012

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This month, we find out how the menstrual cycle influences competition and cooperation and why women’s sexual interest takes a nosedive after childbirth. We also ask the question: what’s the point of cuddling? Does it make us feel closer to our partner, or is it just a stepping stone to sex?


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"Ah, a nice cuddle. Cuddles are lovely. Not as lovely as sex, obviously..." Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

van Anders, S. M., Edelstein, R. S., Wade, R. M., & Samples-Steele, C. R. (in press). Descriptive experiences and sexual vs. nurturant aspects of cuddling between adult romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Rupp, H. A., James, T. W., Ketterson, E. D., Sengelaub, D. R., Ditzen, B., & Heiman, J. R. (in press). Lower sexual interest in postpartum women: Relationship to amygdala activation and intranasal oxytocin. Hormones and Behavior. Read summary

Lucas, M., & Koff, E. (in press). How conception risk affects competition and cooperation with attractive women and men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Nov 02 2012

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Rank #2: Musicians are more alluring than firemen. June 2013

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This month we find out what a woman wants in a man can tell us about the type of relationship she desires, and why seeing red puts men in the mood for love. Also, finding it difficult to convince women to give you their phone number? We discover a simple method of doubling your success rate: buy a guitar!


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Would you give your phone number to this man? Nicolas Gueguen has found that women are more likely to give their digits to a fireman or to a man with a guitar.

The articles covered in the show:

Goetz, C. D. (2013). What do women’s advertised mate preferences reveal? An analysis of video dating profiles. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(2), 383-391. Read paper

Prokop, P., & Hromada, M. (in press). Women use red in order to attract mates. Ethology. Read summary

Guéguen, N., Meineri, S., & Fischer-Lokou, J. (in press). Men’s music ability and attractiveness to women in a real-life courtship context. Psychology of Music. Read summary

Jul 04 2013

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Rank #3: Diet and desire: How the food we eat influences odour and attraction. 17 Nov 2015

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Diet and desire: Why you and your partner shouldn't turn your nose up at garlic, and how men get greedy when there's a woman in the room. Also, since it's #AntiBullyingWeek, we also find out why bullying may be a mating tactic.

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Another Slice of Pizza, Darling?
Eating Garlic Combats Body Odor!
Do Bullies Want Love, Not War?


Men eat more pizza when in the company of women. Louise Ma / WNYC

The articles covered in the show:

Fialová, J., Roberts, S. C., & Havlíček, J. (in press). Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour. Appetite. Read summary

Kniffin, K. M., Sigirci, O., & Wansink, B. (in press). Eating heavily: Men eat more in the company of women. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Volk, A. A., Dane, A. V., Marini, Z. A., & Vaillancourt, T. (in press). Adolescent bullying, dating, and mating: Testing an evolutionary hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Nov 17 2015

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Rank #4: Listeners' choice! Why we stay single. 11 Apr 2017

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For the first time, I hand over editorial control to you, the listeners of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Supporters of the podcast on Patreon have chosen what we'll discuss in today's show. Thanks to them, we'll find out why people choose to stay single, and how sex makes men immoral.

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Why Does Anyone Stay Single?
Femme Fatale: Sexy Women Make Men do Bad Things


It wasn’t until dusk that Emma accepted her wedding day hadn’t gone exactly to plan. Bobby Bradley/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Apostolou, M. (2017). Why people stay single: An evolutionary perspective. Personality and Individual Differences, 111, 263-271. Read summary

Chiou, W.-B., Wu, W.-H., & Cheng, W. (in press). Sexy women can tempt men down the road of immorality: Exposure to sexy stimuli leads to increased dishonesty in men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Apr 11 2017

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Rank #5: Menstrual cycle special. Oct 2013

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This month, it’s a menstrual cycle special. We find out how changes in your hormone levels can influence your attitudes to kissing and dancing, make you flirt more, and even affect the psychology of your partner.

I've covered cyclic effects on mating psychology many, many times before on the podcast. If you want to hear more, click on the label for "human oestrus".


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Yep, it's that time of the month again. Time for another Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast, that is! Ho ho ho. Shane Taremi/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Cappelle, T., & Fink, B. (2013). Changes in women’s attractiveness perception of masculine men’s dances across the ovulatory cycle: Preliminary data. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(5), 965-972. Read paper

Cantú, S. M., Simpson, J. A., Griskevicius, V., Weisberg, Y. J., Durante, K. M., & Beal, D. J. (in press). Fertile and selectively flirty: Women’s behavior toward men changes across the ovulatory cycle. Psychological Science. Read paper [pdf]

Wlodarski, R., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (in press). Menstrual cycle effects on attitudes to kissing. Human Nature. Read summary

Cobey, K. D., Buunk, A. P., Pollet, T. V., Klipping, C., & Roberts, S. C. (in press). Men perceive their female partners, and themselves, as more attractive around ovulation. Biological Psychology. Read summary

Oct 25 2013

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Rank #6: Do opposites attract? Attractiveness and differences among couples. 30 Aug 2016

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Do opposites attract? We look at two studies of couples who are different in some way. Are couple who don't match in attractiveness less trusting of another? And do couples who have different body shapes attract prejudice and discrimination?

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“Date Someone Your own Size”
♪ When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman (or Handsome Man)… ♫

Is your partner bigger or smaller than you, and what does this mean for your relationship? bingham30069/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Collisson, B., Howell, J. L., Rusbasan, D., & Rosenfeld, E. (in press). “Date someone your own size”: Prejudice and discrimination toward mixed-weight relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Oltmanns, J. R., Markey, P. M., & French, J. E. (in press). Dissimilarity in physical attractiveness within romantic dyads and mate retention behaviors. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Just after I posted this episode, I read about this new study by Sela and colleagues which was also really interesting: it's like the Oltmanns' mate retention study except with self-ratings of attractiveness.

Aug 30 2016

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Rank #7: Penis size, with Brian Mautz; eat fruit to get a tan. Aug 2014

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Stay out of the sun! New research suggests that the skin colour change associated with sun tanning isn't as attractive as the effects of eating carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, pumpkins, and spinach. Can an attractive personality make you appear more attractive? And we find out why when women see red, women see red.

Plus, as a special summer surprise, Hannah Rowland of the Behavioural Ecology and Evolution Podcast interviews Brian Mautz at the ISBE2014 conference about his research on penis size and attractiveness.


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I was interviewed by Prof. Alice Roberts this month for an episode of BBC Radio 4's Inside Science. Click here and skip to 24.40 to hear me defend Evolutionary Psychology with all my (feeble) might!

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Scoff the orange, but scoff it in the shade: new research by Carmen Lefevre shows that the skin colour we get from eating carotenoid rich foods is more attractive than the colour we get from tanning.

The articles covered in the show:

Mautz, B. S., Wong, B. B. M., Peters, R. A., & Jennions, M. D. (2013). Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(17), 6925-6930. Read summary

Lefevre, C. E., & Perrett, D. I. (in press). Fruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin coloration is found more attractive than melanin coloration. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Read summary

Zhang, Y., Kong, F., Zhong, Y., & Kou, H. (2014). Personality manipulations: Do they modulate facial attractiveness ratings? Personality and Individual Differences, 70, 80-84. Read summary

Pazda, A. D., Prokop, P., & Elliot, A. J. (in press). Red and romantic rivalry: viewing another woman in red increases perceptions of sexual receptivity, derogration, and intentions to mate-guard. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Aug 14 2014

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Rank #8: Overconfidence: When we think we're more attractive than we are. 14 Jul 2015

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Many of us wish we were more confident, but is self-assuredness or arrogance attractive? Is it possible to be overconfident when it comes to love? And is there a male propensity to overestimate how attractive we are to women? We find out in this episode.

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Participate in my research! The psychology of fail videos (women only) How do you help others?

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Are We Attracted to Arrogance?
Do Men Overestimate Women’s Sexual Interest?

Don Draper is the epitome of the overconfident man. But do women find overconfident (or arrogant) men attractive?

The articles covered in the show:

Murphy, S. C., von Hippel, W., Dubbs, S. L., Angilletta Jr., M. J., Wilson, R. S., Trivers, R., et al. (in press). The role of overconfidence in romantic desirability and competition. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Perilloux, C., Muñoz-Reyes, J. A., Turiegano, E., Kurzban, R., & Pita, M. (in press). Do (non-American) men overestimate women’s sexual intentions? Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Jul 14 2015

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Rank #9: Make up and 'facial contrast', with Alex Jones. 24 March 2015

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Why do women wear make up? I interview Alex Jones of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania about his new research into cosmetics and 'facial contrast' (follow @AlexJonesPHD on Twitter). Also, how did Kim Kardashian break the Internet? Was it her massive bum, or the pronounced curvature of her lower back?


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How Kim Kardashian’s Curvy Back Broke the Internet.


Why do women wear make up? I interview Alex Jones of Gettysburg College PA about his new research that suggests make up works by enhancing female-typical 'facial contrast'.

The articles covered in the show

Jones, A. L. (2015). Cosmetics alter biologically-based factors of beauty: evidence from facial contrast. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(1), 210-229. Read summary

Jones, A. L., & Kramer, R. S. S. (2015). Facial cosmetics have little effect on attractiveness judgments compared with identity. Perception, 44, 79-86. Read summary

Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Lumbar curvature: A novel evolved standard of attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

The images Alex and I mentioned in the show

Richard Russell's "The Illusion of Sex" placed third in the 2009 Illusion of the Year Contest. Most people perceive the face on the left as female, and the face on the right as male. In fact, the photographs show the same face (a computer-generated androgynous face): the only difference is that the contrast of the face on the left is higher than the that of the face on the right. The effect is so strong, it is difficult not to see a woman and a man.

A figure from Alex's paper. The white lines encircle the 'features' (eye, eyebrow, and mouth) and the black lines the surrounding areas. It was the contrast between the features and the surrounding skin that Alex measured. He confirmed that facial contrast is higher in women than in men. His other research showed that women exaggerate these sex differences with make up.


This figure is from the Lewis paper, and shows how he manipulated back curvature. Men preferred a curvature of around 45 degrees. Listen in to find out why.

Mar 24 2015

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Rank #10: Detecting infidelity, with Samantha Leivers. 22 Sep 2015

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Can men detect if a woman is a cheater? I talk to Samantha Leivers of the University of Western Australia about her new research on appearance and faithfulness. More about Samantha on LinkedIn and ResearchGate.

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Maybe if Richard Gere had been able to detect Diane Lane's cheating ways in her face, he would have avoided a lot of grief...

The articles covered in the show:

Leivers, S., Simmons, L. W., & Rhodes, G. (2015). Men’s sexual faithfulness judgments may contain a kernel of truth. PLoS One, 10(8), e0134007. Read paper

Sep 22 2015

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Rank #11: Is a GSOH attractive? Dec 2012

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This month, why a good sense of humour is sometimes attractive and sometimes not so much, how fruit consumption affects appearance, and why high heels elevate attractiveness.


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Stephen Merchant's stand up act is based on his apparent inability to win over women. But new research by Mary Cowan suggests that people's ideas about what constitutes a GSOH are more flexible than we previously thought. So keep plugging away, Smerch!

The articles covered in the show:

Cowan, M. L., & Little, A. C. (2013). The effects of relationship context and modality on ratings of funniness. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(4), 496-500. Read summary

Morris, P. H., White, J., Morrison, E. R., & Fisher, K. (in press). High heels as supernormal stimuli: How wearing high heels affects judgements of female attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Whitehead, R. D., Ozakinci, G., & Perrett, D. I. (2012). Attractive skin coloration: Harnessing sexual selection to improve diet and health. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(5), 842-854. Read summary

Jan 05 2013

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Rank #12: Is blonde hair attractive because it's rare? Oct 2014

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Is blonde and red hair attractive because of how it looks, or because it’s rare? Also, “my genes made me do it”: can men (or women) blame their cheating ways on their genetic inheritance? And we also continue last month’s foray into the murky world of mate-poaching, and discover the differences between the sexes when it comes to detecting potential partner pilferers.


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Some have theorised that red and blonde hair is attractive because it is rare. New research by Zinnia Janif tests this idea. Image credit: qsimple on flickr.com

The articles covered in the show:

Janif, Z. J., Brooks, R. C., & Dixson, B. J. (in press). Are preferences for women's hair color frequency-dependent? Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. Read summary

Ein-Dor, T., Perry, A., Hirschberger, G., Birnbaum, G. E., & Deutsch, D. (in press). Coping with mate poaching: gender differences in detection of infidelity-related threats. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Zietsch, B. P., Westberg, L., Santtila, P., & Jern, P. (in press). Genetic analysis of human extrapair mating: Heritability, between-sex correlation, and receptor genes for vasopressin and oxytocin. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Oct 28 2014

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Rank #13: Head tilt and allure, with Danielle Sulikowski. 20 Oct 2015

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Head posture: Does tilting your noggin like a bobble-head doll make you more or less alluring? I talk to Danielle Sulikowski.

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Does tilting her head make this woman more attractive? Or does she just look like her bonce is about to snap off at the hinge?

The articles covered in the show:

Burke, D., & Sulikowski, D. (2010). A new viewpoint on the evolution of sexually dimorphic human faces. Evolutionary Psychology, 8(4), 147470491000800404. Read summary

Sulikowski, D., Burke, D., Havlíček, J., & Roberts, S. C. (in press). Head tilt and fertility contribute to different aspects of female facial attractiveness. Ethology. Read summary

Oct 20 2015

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Rank #14: Perfume and pheromones: The attractiveness of odor. 31 May 2016

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We discover why beauty is in the nose of the beholder in this odor special. We'll find out whether spraying scented deodorant all over your body can make your smell more masculine or feminine, and we'll also learn if a man's whole mating psychology is turned topsy turvy when he catches a whiff of female pheromones.

Also, this is episode 100 of the podcast so if you want to send me lots of gifts then go right ahead.

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Perfume and Pheromones: Why Beauty is in the Nose of the Beholder

Scents -- whether natural or artificial -- can influence what we find attractive and even how we see ourselves. J. Sibiga/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Allen, C., Cobey, K. D., Havlíček, J., & Roberts, S. C. (in press). The impact of artificial fragrances on the assessment of mate quality cues in body odor. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Williams, M. N., & Jacobson, A. (2016). Effect of copulins on rating of female attractiveness, mate-guarding, and self-perceived sexual desirability. Evolutionary Psychology, 14(2). Read summary

May 31 2016

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Rank #15: Are clever women attractive? 27 Sep 2016

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Men are more attractive if they are intelligent, but what do smarts do for feminine appeal? We also find out whether physically attractive women are more interested in short-term flings or serious long-term relationships.

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Are Men Attracted to Clever Women?
Are Attractive Women More Interested in Flings?

Are smarter women more attractive? Nottingham Trent University/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Karbowski, A., Deja, D., & Zawisza, M. (2016). Perceived female intelligence as economic bad in partner choice. Personality and Individual Differences, 102, 217-222. View summary

Fisher, C. I., Hahn, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2016). Is women's sociosexual orientation related to their physical attractiveness? Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 396-399. View summary

Sep 27 2016

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Rank #16: Threesomes and sexy fanfic. 09 May 2017

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This month we investigate unusual aspects of mating behaviour. How many young adults have experience of threesomes (sex with two partners at the same time)? And why does anyone read -- and write -- sexually explicit fan fiction? I also interview Naomi Muggleton, a PhD student from the University of Warwick, about her research on women's long- and short-term mate preferences and how they vary across cultures. (I've also covered Naomi's previous work on body odour: click here for that episode)

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Harry/Hermione: Who Writes (and Reads) Sexually Explicit Fanfic?
Who Wants a Threesome? No, Really.

"Wow, that was a bad idea..." Portland Center Stage/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Anisimowicz, Y., & O’Sullivan, L. F. (2017). Men’s and women’s use and creation of online sexually explicit materials including fandom-related works. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(3), 823-833. Read summary

Muggleton, N. (2017). Ecological predictors of female sexual suppression. Poster presented at the conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, Paris.

Thompson, A. E., & Byers, E. S. (2017). Heterosexual young adults’ interest, attitudes, and experiences related to mixed-gender, multi-person sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(3), 813-822. Read summary

May 09 2017

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Rank #17: Tall, generous, and handsome. 12 Jan 2016

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What women want: we investigate whether women's preference for taller men leads to a lifetime of happiness, and find out if it's more important for a man to be generous than handsome.

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Altruistic Vs Handsome: Which Makes a Man More Attractive?
Does a Taller Husband Make for a Happier Wife?


"Oh, FJ-2547, you really shouldn't have!" Is it more important for a man to be generous than handsome? Kristina Alexanderson / Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Farrelly, D., Clemson, P., & Guthrie, M. (2016). Are women’s mate preferences for altruism also influenced by physical attractiveness? Evolutionary Psychology, 14(1). Read summary

Sohn, K. (2016). Does a taller husband make his wife happier? Personality and Individual Differences, 91, 14-21. Read summary

Jan 14 2016

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Rank #18: Vocal fry, and why Kim Kardashian will never get a proper job. May 2014

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Why Kim Kardashian would struggle finding a job outside showbiz, and how beauty is in the nose as well as the eye of the beholder. We also discover how male height impacts upon family size.


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Kanye must see something in Kim, but it's probably not her creaky, croaky voice: her "vocal fry".

The articles covered in the show:

Anderson, R. C., Klofstad, C. A., Mayew, W. J., & Venkatachalam, M. (2014). Vocal fry may undermine the success of young women in the labor market. PLoS One, 9(5), e97506. Read paper

Stulp, G., Mills, M., Pollet, T. V., & Barrett, L. (in press). Non-linear associations between stature and mate choice characteristics for American men and their spouses. American Journal of Human Biology. Read summary

Seubert, J., Gregory, K. M., Chamberland, J., Dessirier, J.-M., & Lundström, J. M. (2014). Odor valence linearly modulates attractiveness, but not age assessment, of invariant facial features in a memory-based rating task. PLoS One, 9(5), e98347. Read paper

Jun 11 2014

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Rank #19: Lingerie, chocolate, and shopping. 24 Feb 2015

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Consumer psychology meets the psychology of attraction: how female fertility influences desire for variety in products. And look but don’t touch: observing male behaviour in lingerie stores.


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More chocolate is always better than less chocolate. But new research shows that women are more interested in getting a good variety of chocolate (and other consumer products) when they're most fertile.

The articles covered in the show:

Moule, K. R., & Fisher, M. (2014). You can look but you cannot touch: Male behaviors observed in lingerie stores. Human Ethology Bulletin, 29(4), 4-17. Read paper

Durante, K. M., & Rae Arsena, A. (in press). Playing the field: The effect of fertility on women’s desire for variety. Journal of Consumer Research. Read summary

Mar 08 2015

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Rank #20: Video games get men horny. Nov 2012

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This month, “it’s not you, it’s not me, it’s where we live”: how environment can influence break up decisions. Also, gender differences in sexual regret, and how video games can get a man in the mood for love.


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Cheat activated! Welling had men play a video game, but didn't tell them that the person they were playing against was cheating. Sneaky!

The articles covered in the show:

Hogerbrugge, M. J. A., Komter, A. E., & Scheepers, P. (in press). Dissolving long-term romantic relationships: Assessing the role of the social context. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Galperin, A., Haselton, M. G., Frederick, D. A., Poore, J., von Hippel, W., Buss, D. M., et al. (in press). Sexual regret: Evidence for evolved sex differences. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Welling, L. L. M., Persola, L., Wheatley, J. R., Cárdenas, R. A., & Puts, D. A. (2013). Competition and men's face preferences. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(3), 414-419. Read summary

Dec 04 2012

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EHBEA 2019: conference special. 15 July 2019

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This month, The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast bows out with a special from the European Human Behavior and Evolution Association Conference in Toulouse! Thanks for listening, everyone: it's been real.

I speak to Ayten Yeşim Semchenko about how men and women choose partners when they have limited information about their romantic prospects; to Linda Lidborg about the possible links between a father's testosterone levels and the sexual behaviour of his adolescent offspring; and to Lucie Kuncová about whether we 'imprint' on our parents' odour and later find people with a similar odour more attractive.

Yeşim mentioned a study I covered on the podcast a few years ago, about whether people can judge the attractiveness of others just by looking at the back of their heads. Here is a link to the transcript of that episode.

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The sun sets in Toulouse, and on The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Flickr/Maxime Bober

Jul 15 2019

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Breakin' up is hard to do: the final regular episode of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. 16 Apr 2019

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This month, we interrogate the psychology of the faithful and the faithless. Why do some people pass up the opportunity to cheat on their partners? And, when people do cheat, how do they justify their behaviour?

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8 Reasons Not to Cheat
“It Didn’t Mean Anything.”

It's never the right time to leave. Freestocks.

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast: 2009-2019
This month's episode marks the 10th anniversary of the podcast, and will also be the final regular episode. I started The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast exactly 10 years ago, in April 2009. When I began, I had no endpoint in mind. Neither did I think that 10 years later I would still be doing it. If I cast my mind back to the spring of 2009, I remember assuming that I would continue with the podcast until I started lecturing.

However, my career took a different path: a succession of fixed-term teaching and research posts has taken me from America, back to England, to Scotland, and now to Switzerland. Although I sometimes teach and supervise students, my workload never shot up overnight as I expected it would. This meant that the day never arrived when it was obvious I had to stop.

The approaching anniversary has presented me with the opportunity to reflect on how far the podcast has come and where I want it to go from here. More people are listening to the podcast now than ever. I still enjoy choosing research to talk about and recording and editing each show. But I have realised that I no longer have enough time to devote to The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast.

I would like to spend more time thinking and writing, without the pressure to put out a podcast every four weeks. I am sure this will be disappointing to many of you who have been listening to the podcast for a long time. I want to thank you for sticking with me. I will continue to write about the psychology of attraction, and you will be able to read my blogs here.

I also hope you'll stay subscribed to the podcast: although I will no longer post regular monthly episodes, I will occasionally put out special episodes. The first of these will appear in your feed next month, and will feature interviews from the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Conference in Toulouse.

Until then, thanks for listening to The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast!

The articles covered in the show:

Apostelou, M., & Panayiotou, R. (2019). The reasons that prevent people from cheating on their partners: an evolutionary account of the propensity not to cheat. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, 34-40. Read summary

Warach, B., Josephs, L., & Gorman, B. S. (in press). Are cheaters sexual hypocrites? Sexual hypocrisy, the self-serving bias, and personality style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Apr 16 2019

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Faking orgasm: who fakes and why? 19 Mar 2019

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This month, we investigate faking orgasm. Who fakes orgasms, and why? We also find out how men and women weigh up the relative importance of facial and bodily attractiveness in a partner.

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Faking Orgasm: Who Fakes and Why?
Face or Body: Which Traits Attract a Partner for Committed or Brief Relationships?

Look like they're having fun. But are they just faking it? Flickr/Jessica Wüst

The articles covered in the show:

Jonason, P. K. (2019). Reasons to pretend to orgasm and the mating psychology of those who endorse them. Personality and Individual Differences, 143, 90-94. Read summary

Zaidi, A. A., White, J. D., Mattern, B. C., Liebowitz, C. R., Puts, D. A., Claes, P., et al. (in press). Facial masculinity does not appear to be a condition-dependent male ornament and does not reflect MHC heterozygosity in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read summary

Mar 19 2019

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Oxytocin and mate choice. 19 Feb 2019

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In this month's episode we look at how men and women's partner preferences are affected by a dose of oxytocin, aka "the love hormone". We'll also find out whether germophobes are more or less likely to pursue short-term relationships.

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Disgust and Short-Term Relationships
Oxytocin and Mate-Choice

How does oxytocin affect men and women's partner preferences? Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M. G., Ghossainy, M. E., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Experimentally inducing disgust reduces desire for short-term mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Xu, L., Becker, B., Luo, R., Zheng, X., Zhao, W., Zhang, Q., et al. (2018). Oxytocin amplifies sex differences in human mate choice. BioRxiv. Read preprint

Feb 19 2019

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Make up and cosmetic surgery. 22 Jan 2019

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I'm back after a holiday break to look at the psychology of appearance enhancement: what does our use of cosmetics say about us to other people? This episode also features an interview with Matthew Vazquez of California State University San Bernardino, who presented his research exploring the complexities of mate attraction at the 2018 HBES conference.

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What do People Think of Women Who Use Cosmetics and Cosmetic Surgery?

Does the use of make up, and other efforts at appearance enhancement, affect how we are seen by others? Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Bradshaw, H. K., Profitt Leyva, R., Nicolas, S. C. A., & Hill, S. E. (2019). Costly female appearance-enhancement provides cues of short-term mating effort: The case of cosmetic surgery. Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 48-55. Read summary

DelPriore, D. J., Bradshaw, H. K., & Hill, S. E. (2018). Appearance enhancement produces a strategic beautification penalty among women. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12(4), 348-366. Read summary

Vazquez, M., Cisneros, A., & Goetz, C. (2018). Mate value discrepancies and relationship satisfaction in heterosexual and non-heterosexual romantic relationships. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Jan 22 2019

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Fertility and health: is beauty a cue? 27 Nov 2018

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Why are we attracted to attractive people? Perhaps because evolution has shaped us to seek healthy and fertile partners. But is beauty really linked to biological fitness? We find out. This episode also features an interview with Kai Hiraishi of Keio University, who presented his research on men's over-perception of women's sexual intent at this summer's HBES conference.

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Does an Hourglass Figure Really Signal Fertility?
Does Beauty Signal Health?

Are attractive people healthier and more fertile? Previous assumptions are being overturned. Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Cai, Z., Hahn, A. C., Zhang, W., Holzleitner, I. J., Lee, A. J., DeBruine, L. M., et al. (in press). No evidence that facial attractiveness, femininity, averageness, or coloration are cues to susceptibility to infectious illnesses in a university sample of young adult women. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Hiraishi, K., Kawahata, Y., Nomura, K., & Shigematsu, H. (2018). Women's perception of men's overperception of women's sexual-intent and what she says she really wants. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Lassek, W. B., & Gaulin, S. J. C. (in press). Do the low WHRs and SMIs judged most attractive indicate higher fertility? Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Nov 27 2018

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Sex with an ex. 30 Oct 2018

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This month, is pursuing sex with an ex likely to help or hinder your recovery from a breakup? And we find out why a team of psychologists from Michigan brought volunteers to their lab to look at a rabbit and a snake. This episode also features an interview with Vicky Leigh of Glasgow University, who presented her research on sexual imprinting at the recent HBES conference.

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Sex with an Ex: Good or Bad for Breakup Recovery?
The Snake and the Rabbit: Animal Influences on Human Mate Choice


Would looking at this rabbit (or a snake) affect what you find attractive in a partner? freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Leigh, V., Jones, B., & DeBruine, L. (2018). Bisexual women show positive sexual imprinting on the partner-sex parent for eye colour. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Reeve, S. D., Mogilski, J. K., & Welling, L. L. M. (in press). Environmental safety threat alters mate choice processes in humans: further evidence for the Environmental Security Hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Spielmann, S. S., Joel, S., & Impett, E. A. (in press). Pursuing sex with an ex: does it hinder breakup recovery? Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Oct 30 2018

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Sex smells. 25 Sep 2018

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This month we sniff out the link between sex and a sense of smell, and we'll ask: how much should a engagement ring really cost?

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How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?
Sex Smells

If you need to get this close to sniff out a partner, you should get your nose tested. Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Bendas, J., Hummel, T., & Croy, I. (in press). Olfactory function relates to sexual experience in adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Cloud, J. M., & Taylor, M. H. (in press). The effect of mate value discrepancy on hypothetical engagement ring purchases. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Sep 25 2018

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Straight men who hookup with other men. 28 Aug 2018

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In this month's episode we look at sexuality: why do people who identify as straight sometimes hookup with partners of the same gender? We'll also find out if straight men prefer women who are attracted to other women. This episode also features an interview with Sydni Huxman of Kansas State University, who presented her research on backup partners at the recent HBES conference.

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Straight Man Seeks… Who?

Can men and women identify as straight but still hookup with same-gender partners? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Apostelou, M., Wang, Y., & O, J. (2018). Do men prefer women who are attracted to women? A cross-cultural evolutionary investigation. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 31-39. Read summary

Huxman, S. A. J., Brandner, J. L., & Brase, G. L. (2018). Friends with potential benefits: Exploring the relationships between individual differences and backup mates. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Kuperberg, A., & Walker, A. (2018). Heterosexual college students who hookup with same-sex partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(5), 1387-1403. Read summary

Aug 28 2018

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Dirty jokes and age differences. 31 Jul 2018

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This month I tell some dirty and clean jokes: whether or not you laugh may say something about the kind of relationship that suits you best. We'll also find out why some of us are uneasy with relationships between people with a big age difference. And, in the first of my interviews from the recent Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference in Amsterdam, I speak with Dr. Anthony Lee of Glasgow University about his research on internet dating.

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Why do People Condemn Age-Discrepant Relationships?
Is a Dirty Joke a Good Chat Up Line?

His joke may have been filthier than a sack of compost, but it sure was funny. Brian Wolfe/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Lee, A. (2018). Investigating mate preferences through a data-driven analysis of online personal descriptions. Paper presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Medlin, M. M., Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (2018). That's what she said! Perceived mate value of clean and dirty humor displays. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 192-200. Read summary

Sela, Y., Pham, M. N., Mogilski, J. K., Lopes, G. S., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2018). Why do people disparage May–December romances? Condemnation of age-discrepant romantic relationships as strategic moralization. Personality and Individual Differences, 130, 6-10. Read summary

Jul 31 2018

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Dating apps and sociosexuality. 03 Jul 2018

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In this month's episode we look at dating apps, and how the way we interact with them is influenced by our sociosexuality (aka our willingness to engage in casual sex).

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Dating Apps and Mating Strategies

Does our 'sociosexuality' affect how we behave on dating apps, like Tinder? Freestocks.

The articles covered in the show:

Botnen, E. O., Bendixen, M., Grøntvedt, T. V., & Kennair, L. E. O. (2018). Individual differences in sociosexuality predict picture-based mobile dating app use. Personality and Individual Differences, 131, 67-73. Read summary

Hallam, L., De Backer, C. J. S., Fisher, M. L., & Walrave, M. (in press). Are sex differences in mating strategies overrated? Sociosexual orientation as a dominant predictor in online dating strategies. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Jul 03 2018

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Replication crisis: Does the menstrual cycle really affect what women find attractive? 05 Jun 2018

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It can't have failed to escape you that psychology is in the midst of a replication crisis. Research findings previously thought to be solid and reliable have proven anything but, as teams of independent researchers have tried -- and failed -- to repeat the original experiments.

On The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast I might be guilty of focussing too much on the most exciting new findings: findings that may or may not be supported by later research. So in this episode we'll look at a few replication studies that have recently called into question effects that we've talked about before on the show. Are women's partner preferences influenced by their menstrual cycle or hormonal contraceptives? We'll find out.

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The Replication Crisis: New Research on Human Attraction

"Hi, did you hear? The results of your PhD thesis have been overturned OK byeee!" Freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Jern, P., Kärnä, A., Hujanen, J., Erlin, T., Gunst, A., Rautaheimo, H., et al. (in press). A high-powered replication study finds no effect of starting or stopping hormonal contraceptive use on relationship quality. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Jones, B. C., Hahn, A. C., Fisher, A. D., Wang, H., Kandrik, M., Han, C., et al. (2017). No compelling evidence that preferences for facial masculinity track changes in women's hormonal status. bioRxiv. Read paper

Jünger, J., Kordsmeyer, T. L., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2018). Fertile women evaluate male bodies as more attractive, regardless of masculinity. PsyArXiv. Read paper

Jünger, J., Motta-Mena, N. V., Cárdenas, R. A., Bailey, D. H., Rosenfeld, K., Schild, C., et al. (2018). Do women's preferences for masculine voices shift across the ovulatory cycle? PsyArXiv. Read summary

Marcinkowska, U., Hahn, A. C., Little, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2018). No evidence that women using oral contraceptives have weaker preferences for masculine characteristics in men’s faces. Read paper

Jun 05 2018

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Loving the one you're with. 08 May 2018

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This month, how to love the one you're with. We find out why we prefer to stick with the partner we know than ditching them for someone new. We'll also discover how controlling our wandering eyes can keep our relationships strong.

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The Danger of a Wandering Eye
Loving the One You’re With


Why do we stick with our partners, despite temptations to stray? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Gunaydin, G., Selcuk, E., Yilmaz, C., & Hazen, C. (in press). I have, therefore I love: status quo preference in mate choice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

McNulty, J. K., Meltzer, A. L., Makhanova, A., & Maner, J. K. (in press). Attentional and evaluative biases help people maintain relationships by avoiding infidelity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Read summary

May 08 2018

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Ghosting and deceptive affection. 10 Apr 2018

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What type of person is likely to give up the ghost and leave their partners without warning? We also investigate deceptive affection: is it an effective tactic for keeping a relationship strong?

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Deceptive Affection: Expressing More Love for a Partner Than we Feel
Ghosting: Why Some End Relationships by Disappearing

Does it matter if affection is real or a deception? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Freedman, G., Powell, D. N., Le, B., & Williams, K. D. (in press). Ghosting and destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Redlick, M. H., & Vangeslisti, A. L. (in press). Affection, deception, and evolution: deceptive affectionate messages as mate retention behaviors. Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Apr 10 2018

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Money, honour, and sexual coercion. 13 Mar 2018

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Sexual aggression is a serious subject, and one we should strive to better understand. In this episode, we find out why some men retaliate aggressively when they are rejected. We also learn about the links between sexual coercion, money, and risk-tasking; and how college students rebuff unwanted sexual advances.

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Why Do Some Men Respond Aggressively When Rejected?
Saying No to Sex
Impulsivity and Sexual Coercion

New research reveals a link between impulsive finanicial decision-making and sexual coercion in college-aged men. kris krüg/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Carrier Emond, F., Gagnon, J., Nolet, K., Cyr, G., & Rouleau, J.-L. (in press). What money can't buy: different patterns in decision making about sex and money predict past sexual coercion perpetration. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Marcantonio, T. L., Jozkowski, K. N., & Lo, W.-J. (in press). Beyond “just saying no”: a preliminary evaluation of strategies college students use to refuse sexual activity. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Stratmoen, E., Greer, M. M., Martens, A. L., & Saucier, D. A. (2018). What, I′m not good enough for you? Individual differences in masculine honor beliefs and the endorsement of aggressive responses to romantic rejection. Personality and Individual Differences, 123, 151-162. Read summary

Mar 13 2018

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Are personal values attractive? Listeners' choice! 13 Feb 2018

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This month we have a pair of studies chosen by Patreon supporters of the podcast. We find out if bullies have more sex, and whether a person's physical attractiveness or personal values better explain their appeal as a long-term partner.

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Bullying and the Mating Motive
Social Values: How to Attract a Long-Term Partner

Are they attracted by appearance or by attitudes and values? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Lopes, G. S., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Jeffery, A. J., Pham, M. N., Shackelford, T. K., et al. (2017). Endorsement of social and personal values predicts the desirability of men and women as long-term-partners. Evolutionary Psychology, 15(4). Read summary

Provenzano, D. A., Dane, A. V., Farrell, A. H., Marini, Z. A., & Volk, A. A. (in press). Do bullies have more sex? The role of personality. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Feb 13 2018

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Cheaters: Predicting and responding to a partner's infidelity. 16 Jan 2018

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This month, we're talking about the consequences of a wandering eye. Does contemplating infidelity make a person more suspicious that their own partner might be a cheater? And “should I stay or should I go?” -- how do we decide to respond after discovering our partner has strayed?

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Stick or Twist: Deciding to Leave or Remain in a Relationship After Infidelity
Is Jealousy a Sign Your Partner is Likely to be Unfaithful?

ThoroughlyReviewed/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Neal, A. M., & Lemay, E. P. (in press). The wandering eye perceives more threats: Projection of attraction to alternative partners predicts anger and negative behavior in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Shrout, M. R., & Weigel, D. J. (in press). “Should I stay or should I go?” Understanding the noninvolved partner’s decision-making process following infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Jan 16 2018

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Baby photos increase interest in marriage. 19 Dec 2017

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This month we examine inter-generational effects on attraction. Almost everyone likes looking at baby photos, but what effect does this innocent activity have on our mating psychology? We'll also discover how the body type women and men prefer in their partners can be influenced by their own fathers' physique. And I present the results of the recent (and first ever) listener survey. Who's listening and what do you want from the show? We'll find out.

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Baby Photos Increase Desire for Marriage
Just Like Daddy: Our Unconscious Attraction to Partners Who Look Like Our Parents

Marriage fuel! Does looking at this baby photo increase your desire for a long-term relationship? Stephen Ramsay/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Lord, C. G., Holland, C. J., & Hill, S. E. (2018). Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 106-110. Read summary

Štěrbová, Z., Trébický, V., Havlíček, J., Tureček, P., Varella, A. M. C., & Valentova, J. V. (2017). Father's physique influences mate preferences but not the actual choice of male somatotype in heterosexual women and homosexual men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Dec 19 2017

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Looking healthy: Limbal rings, face shape, and skin colour. 21 Nov 2017

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Looking healthy is vital to an attractive appearance. But how do we judge a person's healthiness? We find out how face shape and colour influence our perceptions of health, and revisit the idea of limbal rings: a part of the eye that gives away our health and age.

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The Eyes Have It: Limbal Rings and Attraction
What Makes a Healthy Face?

The eye is the window to your... health? The eye on the left has an exaggerated limbal ring. Modified from Joanna Malinowska/freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (in press). Put a (limbal) ring on it: Women perceive men's limbal rings as a health cue in short-term mating domains. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Jones, A. L. (in press). The influence of shape and colour cue classes on facial health perception. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Nov 21 2017

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Cosmetic surgery and advertising. 24 Oct 2017

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Why do people have cosmetic surgery, and how do cosmetic surgery advertisements make women feel about themselves and behave towards their partners? I also speak to Dr. Sylvie Borau of the Toulouse Business School about her new research on how sexy advertisements trigger women's competitive urges.

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Read the transcript!
Why Undergo Cosmetic Surgery?

How do sexy swimwear advertisements affect women's competitive urges? Mike Monoghan/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Ashikali, E.-M., Dittmar, H., & Ayers, S. (2017). The impact of cosmetic surgery advertising on Swiss women's body image and attitudes toward cosmetic surgery. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 76(1), 13-21. Read summary

Atari, M., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Chegeni, R. (in press). Consideration of cosmetic surgery as part of women's benefit-provisioning mate retention strategy. Frontiers in Psychology. Read summary

Borau, S., & Bonnefon, J.-F. (in press). The imaginary intrasexual competition: Advertisements featuring provocative female models trigger women to engage in indirect aggression. Journal of Business Ethics. Read summary

Oct 24 2017

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iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
8
1
2
2

Wonderful

By obtrunco - Jan 17 2019
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I'm always waiting for the next episode. Great info but scarce in frequency.

Interesting stuff

By pleaz - May 20 2017
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Interesting exploration of psychology research, with funny, engaging host.