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Health
Science & Medicine
Sexuality
Social Sciences

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

Updated 12 days ago

Health
Science & Medicine
Sexuality
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

56 Ratings
Average Ratings
44
7
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.

iTunes Ratings

56 Ratings
Average Ratings
44
7
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

Updated 12 days ago

Read more

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

Rank #1: 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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Support the podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 and get access to the patron-only feed, including bonus podcasts and blogs not available elsewhere.

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Read the transcript!
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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Rank #2: 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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Rank #3: Why do women who have anal sex, have anal sex? Nov 2014

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"I’ll have what she’s having": why younger women are more prone to pursuing the partners of their peers. We also find out whether high heels really do put you one step ahead of the competition, and why women who engage in anal sex engage in anal sex. I mean seriously, why??


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Do high heels or flats make a woman more attractive? Nicolas Gueguen took to the streets of France to find out. Jake Guild/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Little, A. C., Caldwell, C. A., Jones, B. C., & DeBruine, L. M. (in press). Observer age and the social transmission of attractiveness in humans: Younger women are more influenced by the choices of popular others than older women. British Journal of Psychology. Read summary

Guéguen, N. (in press). High heels increase women’s attractiveness. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Reynolds, G. L., Fisher, D. G., & Rogala, B. (in press). Why women engage in anal intercourse: Results from a qualitative study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Dec 12 2014
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Rank #4: BONUS: Personality and intimate relationships. 21 Feb 2017

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Some of you may know that last summer I started a new job at Basel University in Switzerland. During the autumn semester, I taught a class on personality and intimate relationships. One thing I had the class do is read research papers and prepare short written assignments on them, in a style similar to my podcast. Several of the students also recorded their assignments, so here is a special bonus episode featuring their work. Almost none of the students are native English speakers, and until now most had summarised research only in formal scientific language, so the project was a real challenge. I am very proud of the effort they put in and hope you enjoy this bonus podcast.

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Basel! Thomas Mulchi/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Michelle:
Pawłowski, B., & Jasienska, G. (2008). Women's body morphology and preferences for sexual partners' characteristics. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(1), 19-25. Read summary

Ting:
Lill, M. M., & Wilkinson, T. J. (2005). Judging a book by its cover: descriptive survey of patients' preferences for doctors' appearance and mode of address. BMJ, 331(7531), 1524-1527. Read summary

Hanna:
Maybach, K. L., & Gold, S. R. (1994). Hyperfemininity and attraction to macho and non‐macho men. The Journal of Sex Research, 31(2), 91-98. Read summary

Sou Bouy:
Nordsletten, A. E., Larsson, H., & Crowley, J. J. (2016). Patterns of nonrandom mating within and across 11 major psychiatric disorders. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(4), 354-361. Read summary

Dania:
Schützwohl, A., & Koch, S. (2004). Sex differences in jealousy: The recall of cues to sexual and emotional infidelity in personally more and less threatening context conditions. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(4), 249-257. Read summary

Alina and Dominik:
Mark, K. P., Janssen, E., & Milhausen, R. R. (2011). Infidelity in heterosexual couples: Demographic, interpersonal, and personality-related predictors of extradyadic sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 971-982. Read summary

Daphne:
Campbell, L., & Kohut, T. (2017). The use and effects of pornography in romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 6-10. Read summary

Leonie:
Cravens, J. D., & Whiting, J. B. (2014). Clinical implications of internet infidelity: Where Facebook fits in. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42(4), 325-339. Read summary

Emily:
McDaniel, B. T., Drouin, M., & Cravens, J. D. (2017). Do you have anything to hide? Infidelity-related behaviors on social media sites and marital satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 88-95. Read summary

Galya:
Meltzer, A. L., & McNulty, J. K. (2016). Who is having more and better sex? The Big Five as predictors of sex in marriage. Journal of Research in Personality, 63, 62-66. Read summary

Christine:
Ahmetoglu, G., Swami, V., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2010). The relationship between dimensions of love, personality, and relationship length. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(5), 1181-1190. Read summary

Philipp:
Barnes, S., Brown, K. W., Krusemark, E., Campbell, W. K., & Rogge, R. D. (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 482–500. Read summary

Oriana:
Jackson, J. J., Connolly, J. J., Garrison, S. M., Leveille, M. M., & Connolly, S. L. (2015). Your friends know how long you will live. Psychological Science, 26(3), 335-340. Read summary

Susanne:
Mogilski, J. K., & Welling, L. L. M. (in press). Staying friends with an ex: Sex and dark personality traits predict motivations for post-relationship friendship. Personality and Individual Differences. Read summary

Cécile:
Wilson, R. E., Harris, K., & Vazire, S. (2015). Personality and friendship satisfaction in daily life: Do everyday social interactions account for individual differences in friendship satisfaction? European Journal of Personality, 29(2), 173-186. Read summary

Léa:
Campbell, K., Holderness, N., & Riggs, M. (2015). Friendship chemistry: An examination of underlying factors. The Social Science Journal, 52(2), 239-247. Read summary

Feb 21 2017
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Rank #5: 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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Read the transcript!
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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Rank #6: 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 #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: Robert Burriss on the psychology of attraction. Valentines 2013 special

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What better day to discuss attraction than Valentines? Here's a special episode with an interview I gave a couple of weeks ago. The conversation ranges from the influence of the media on what we perceive as attractive, to attractiveness and race, the appealing odour of male sweat, and why Brad Pitt is the perfect man.


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Is Brad your ideal Valentine? Yes. Yes, he is.

Feb 14 2013
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Rank #11: 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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Support the podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 and get access to the patron-only feed, including bonus podcasts and blogs not available elsewhere.

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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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Rank #12: The Distracted Boyfriend and dick-pics. 26 Sep 2017

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Is there any truth to the cliche of the man who can't talk to a woman without tearing his eyes away from her body? We find out. Also, are we more likely to remember attractive or unattractive faces, even after seeing them for just a split second? And Dr. Evita March is back to talk about her research on sharing explicit images (AKA sending dick pics).

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Read the transcript!
Eye-Gaze and Attraction

Male gaze.

The articles covered in the show:

Gillath, O., Bahns, A. J., & Burghart, H. A. (in press). Eye movements when looking at potential friends and romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Nakamura, K., Arai, S., & Kawabata, H. (in press). Prioritized identification of attractive and romantic partner faces in rapid serial visual presentation. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

March, E., & Wagstaff, D. (2017). Explicit Image Orientation: The role of sex, personality, and mate value. Paper presented at the conference of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Warsaw.

Oct 24 2017
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Rank #13: Conflict and reconciliation. 01 Aug 2017

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Do men and women have different tactics for making up after a fight? And do couples resolve sexual and non-sexual conflicts differently? We'll find out in this episode about conflict resolution. I also talk to Dr. Sylvie Borau about her research on gendered marketing.

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The 5 Most Effective Ways to Reconcile After Romantic Conflict
How Couples Resolve Disagreements About Sex

How do couples resolve their conflicts? Hernán Piñera/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Borau, S., & Bonnefon, J.-F. (2017). Gendered products confer asymmetric benefits to the mate value of male and female consumers. Poster presented at the conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, Paris.

Rehman, U. S., Lizdek, I., Fallis, E. E., Sutherland, S., & Goodnight, J. A. (in press). How is sexual communication different from nonsexual communication? A moment-by-moment analysis of discussions between romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Wade, T. J., Mogilski, J., & Schoenberg, R. (in press). Sex differences in reconciliation behavior after romantic conflict. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Aug 01 2017
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Rank #14: 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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Read the transcript!
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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Rank #15: 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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Rank #16: Attraction to opposite-sex friends. 26 Jul 2016

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Something more than friends. We look at three new studies on attraction to opposite-sex friends. How do men and women differ in their attraction to friends? And can you make a friend fall in love with you by falling in love with them first?

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Why are we Attracted to Friends?

What a sickeningly cheerful bunch of friends. No doubt they are having lots of sex with each other, and we can only hope that the group will soon implode in a spiral of jealousy.Miguel Angel/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Bleske-Rechek, A., Joseph, W. E., Williquette, H., & Donovan, B. (in press). Sex differences in young adults' attraction to opposite-sex friends: Natural sampling versus mental concepts. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read paper

Lemay Jr., E. P., & Wolf, N. R. (2016). Projection of romantic and sexual desire in opposite-sex friendships: How wishful thinking creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42(7), 864-878. Read summary

Mogilski, J. K. & L. L. M. Welling (in press). Staying friends with an ex: Sex and dark personality traits predict motivations for post-relationship friendship. Personality and Individual Differences. Read summary

Jul 26 2016
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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: 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 #19: 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 #20: Female competition special. Dec 2013

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Fight fight fight! It’s a female competition special! We all know men duke it out in the name of love, honour and occasionally plain boredom, but do women also seek to outcompete members of their own sex? And is this question so controversial we shouldn’t even be asking it?


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Women knocking seven bells out of each other. Boxing AIBA/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Durante, K. M., Griskevicius, V., Cantú, S. M., & Simpson, J. A. (in press). Money, status, and the ovulatory cycle. Journal of Marketing Research. Read summary

Fink, B. (2014). Female physical characteristics and intra-sexual competition in women. Personality and Individual Differences, 58, 138-141. Read summary

Muñoz-Reyes, J. A., Pita, M., Arjona, M., Sanchez-Pages, S., & Turiegano, E. (in press). Who is the fairest of them all? The independent effect of attractive features and self-perceived attractiveness on cooperation among women. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Piccoli, V., Foroni, F., & Carnaghi, A. (2013). Comparing group dehumanization and intra-sexual competition among normally ovulating women and hormonal contraceptive users. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(12), 1600-1609. Read summary

Vaillancourt, T. (2013). Do human females use indirect aggression as an intrasexual competition strategy? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 368, 20130080. Read summary

Dec 26 2013
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