Posts

March 14, 2015

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1:01 AM | March 2010: Tyler Stillman on IDing violent criminals from photos
I speak to Tyler Stillman of Florida State University about whether we can identify violent criminals just by looking at their faces. We also find out whether electoral candidates who appear more powerful or trustworthy can expect more votes, and how a woman's menstrual cycle can affect her preferences for hairy men. Download the MP3 Schwarzenegger's masculine looks probably did him no harm when it came to running for governor of California. The articles covered in the show: Rantala, M. J., […]
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1:00 AM | April 2010: Copying other people's mate choice
How stress can disrupt what we find attractive. We also look at why friends are similar in attractiveness, and whether it pays to save yourself the bother of choosing a partner and instead let someone else do the choosing for you. Download the MP3 The articles covered in the show: Lass-Hennemann, J., Deuter, C. E., Kuehl, L. K., Schulz, A., Blumenthal, T. D., & Schachinger, H. (In press). Effects of stress on human mating preferences: stressed individuals prefer dissimilar mates. […]
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1:00 AM | May 2010: Age at puberty and mate preferences
Do mate preferences change over time? We also look at how women's perceptions of men are related to the age at which she reached puberty, and continue last month's look at the interesting phenomenon of mate choice copying. Download the MP3 The articles covered in the show: Kościński, K. (2010). Do they know what they like? Intra-individual variation of female facial preferences. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 8(1), 23-55. Read summaryBelles, S., Kunde, W., & Neumann, R. (In […]
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12:59 AM | June 2010: Do good-looking people get fair trials?
Is justice really blind? Also, what damage to the brain teaches us about the perception of attractiveness, and why men fall in love more easily than women. Download the MP3 "Blinded in the line of duty. His partners don't respect him. His wife lacks faith. Nobody believes in Jim Dunbar except himself." And now, perhaps, Ahola and colleagues. The articles covered in the show: Ahola, A. S., Hellström, Å., & Christianson, S. Å. (2010). Is justice really blind? Effects of […]
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12:59 AM | July 2010: I love you because you love me
Why the face is sometimes more important than the body, and why the body is sometimes more important than the face. Also, how being the object of another's affection boosts your own feelings of desire, and how your IQ influences the kind of partners you prefer. Download the MP3 The articles covered in the show: New research out this month shows that we find people attractive if they find US attractive.Confer, J. C., Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. M. (In press). More than just a pretty face: […]
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12:58 AM | Aug 2010: Red and black clothing boosts attractiveness
Is it possible to tell whether someone is gay, straight or bi just by looking at them? We also find out once and for all which colour of clothing is the best for boosting beauty, and discover the surprising truth about attractiveness and self-esteem. Download the MP3 (Click image to view the Pantone Fashion Color Report, Fall 2010.) The articles covered in the show: Freeman, J. B., Johnson, K. L., Ambady, N., & Rule, N. O. (In press). Sexual orientation perception involves gendered facial […]
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12:57 AM | Sept & Oct 2010: Adolescence and attraction
How partner preferences develop as we move from adolescence to adulthood. We also find out when a woman is most likely to sleep with a stranger, discover how to go about designing the perfect partner, and learn whether big breasts are more popular in New Guinea or New Zealand. Download the MP3 How do our partner preference evolve through adolescence? Tamsin Saxton reveals all in a new paper out this month.The articles covered in the show: Saxton, T. K., Kohoutova, D., Roberts, S. C., Jones, […]
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12:57 AM | Nov 2010: Pornography viewing and political affiliation
Can a GSOH snag you an STR, are you more likely to be dumped after an affair with a man or a woman, and how voting in an election can turn you into a porn addict. Download the MP3 When adult movie star Mary Carey stood for election as governor of California, it seemed more than a little bizarre (even when she lost to a cyborg bodybuilder). But new research by Markey and Markey shows that politics and porn might be more closely linked than even Carey had considered. The articles covered in the […]
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12:57 AM | Dec 2010: Hormonal birth control and jealousy
How the length of a man’s fingers can tell you how likely he is to commit, whether taking the contraceptive pill makes you more jealous, and the relationship between your postal code and the size of your boyfriend’s biceps. Download the MP3 The effects of the pill on a woman's biology are obvious, but what does a daily dose of the oral contraceptive do for her psychology? Cobey and colleagues decided to investigate. The articles covered in the show: Schwarz, S., Mustafić, M., […]
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12:56 AM | Jan 2011: Do our parents influence our partner preferences?
How we tell the difference between two attractive faces, how hypochondria influences your partner preferences, and Meet the Parents: why mum and dad so often disapprove of who their children bring home to dinner. Download the MP3 Why do our parents so often disapprove of our romantic choices? Perilloux et al. explain all in their recent paper. The articles covered in the show: Perilloux, C., Fleischman, D. S., & Buss, D. M. (2011). Meet the parents: Parent-offspring convergence and […]
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12:55 AM | Feb 2011: Ian Stephen on skin tanning
Skin colour special! What’s behind the current fashion for skin tanning, and why do some people go to greater lengths to obtain a bronzed body? I speak to Dr. Ian Stephen of Nottingham University about whether a tan really does look healthy and attractive. Download the MP3 Example images from Stephen's paper that got the Guardian's commenters all flustered. The face in the middle shows the woman's natural colour. The face on the left shows the effect of sun tanning, while the face on the […]
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12:55 AM | March 2011: Are attractive people mean?
Being mean to keep ‘em keen: how sharing negative attitudes can bring you and your partner closer. We also find out whether beautiful people are friendlier, or meaner, than the rest of us, and why George Clooney is a total miser (possibly). Download the MP3 There may be something to the popular belief that attractive people are mean, as new research by Price and colleagues shows. The articles covered in the show: Weaver, J. R., & Bosson, J. K. (in press). I feel like I know you: […]
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12:55 AM | April 2011: What was Georgia O'Keeffe thinking?!
How a higher pitched voice can make you sound more attractive, and suspicious. Also, war: what is it good for? We investigate the link between warfare and sex. And how do our hormones influence perceptions of art? Download the MP3 Georgia O'Keeffe's "Black Iris III". Rudski showed pictures by O'Keeffe to women when they were in the fertile and non-fertile phases of their menstrual cycle. 31% of fertile women interpreted the pictures as sexual, but only 9% of non-fertile women saw the sexual […]
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12:54 AM | May 2011: limbal rings (dark rimmed irises) and beauty
Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? We cast a glance at the pupil, iris and white of the eye, and discover that love is far from blind. Plus we find out how a roving eye can be good for your relationship. Download the MP3 Provine et al. confirmed that a reddened sclera is less attractive than whiter-than-white whites of the eye, whilst Peshek and colleagues showed that a dark limbal ring (the narrow circle at the edge of the iris) also boosts your beauty. The articles covered in the show: […]
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12:54 AM | June 2011 special: The Kanazawa Controversy
Satoshi Kanazawa's recent blog post “Why black women are less physically attractive than other women” has ignited a firestorm of protest across the web. In this special episode, we find out if his controversial claim stands up to scrutiny. Download the MP3 In this special episode I talk with biological anthropologist Mark Shriver, Nanjala Nyabola, an Oxford graduate student who wrote a comment piece for the Guardian about Kanazawa's article, and psychologists Scott Barry Kaufman and […]
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12:54 AM | June 2011: Do siblings match in beauty?
Does being attractive always help? We discover the social advantages that come with being slightly less than supermodel material. Also, do attractive people have attractive brothers and sisters, and where are all the female comedians? Do women prefer hearing jokes to telling them? Download the MP3 Same-sex siblings, like the Kardashian sisters, tend to be similar in attractiveness. But what about opposite-sex siblings? If you find the section on humour interesting, you might like this episode […]
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12:53 AM | July 2011: Is physiognomy really a pseudoscience?
How the roundness of a man’s face can predict whether he’s a liar, why testosterone fuelled men don’t like helping around the house, and how a woman’s fertility influences the warmth of her personality. Download the MP3 Physiognomy used to be considered a pseudoscience, but it's now experiencing a resurgence, thanks in part to improved methods and a more rigid application of the scientific method. The articles covered in the show: Haselhuhn, M. P., & Wong, E. M. (in […]
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12:53 AM | Aug 2011: Carin Perilloux on avoiding sexual assault
The risk factors for rape: is sexual assault indiscriminate or are some women at greater risk than others? I speak with Carin Perilloux to find out. Also this month, can a conservative fall for a liberal, or is the bedroom a politics-free zone? And how exercising with the opposite sex bewilders your biochemistry. Download the MP3 The Slut Walks that were held worldwide earlier this year demonstrate that advice about how women might avoid sexual assault is often unwelcome, especially if it […]
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12:52 AM | Sept 2011: Are powerful people cheaters?
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but does it turn you into a cheat? Also, can a high-powered computer program work out what makes a face attractive? And why are women who prefer marriage to a short-term fling more forgiving of a wonky nose? Download the MP3 Did Bill cheat because power went to his head? And would Hillary have done the same thing in his shoes? New research by Joris Lammers suggests some answers. The articles covered in the show: Lammers, J. S., J. I., Jordan, J., Pollman, […]
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12:52 AM | Oct 2011: Sex differences in jealousy
What’s the best way to investigate jealousy? In the lab, or on TV? Also, gossip: what is it good for, and how is idle chit chat linked to beauty? And why sharing Sunday lunch with mum and dad can make you broody. Download the MP3 Using footage from a TV show about cheaters caught out on camera, Barry Kuhle investigated sex differences in the causes of jealousy. The articles covered in the show: Kuhle, B. X. (2011). Did you have sex with him? Do you love her? An in vivo test of sex […]
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12:52 AM | Nov 2011: Women who want more kids look more feminine
How beauty is contributing to the worldwide population explosion, why men turn into idiots when a woman steps into the room, and why Meg Ryan was right: how frequently do women fake orgasm and why do they do it? Download the MP3 From Miriam Law-Smith's study, composite faces of 18 women with lowest ‘ideal number of children’ (left) and 18 women with highest ‘ideal number of children’ (right). The articles covered in the show: Law Smith, M. J., Deady, D. K., Moore, F. […]
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12:51 AM | Dec 2011: Men with big feet
The recipe for the perfect man. Tall, dark and handsome? How about tall, rich and with huge feet? Download the MP3 You know what they say about men with big feet, right?The articles covered in the show: Stulp, G., Pollet, T. V., Verhulst, S., & Buunk, A. P. (in press). A curvilinear effect of height on reproductive success in human males. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Read summaryJonason, P. K., Li, N. P., & Madson, L. (in press). It is not all about the Benjamins: Understanding […]
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12:50 AM | Jan 2012: Attractive men boost your memory
An experiment that shows we really do like what we see. Also, how voices can cycle from attractive to unattractive and back again, and why you’re more likely to remember a fish if you see it next to an attractive man’s face. Yep, that's not a typo...Download the MP3According to research by Kevin Allan, you are unlikely to forget this fish.The articles covered in the show:Re, D. E., Coetzee, V., Xiao, D., Buls, D., Tiddeman, B. P., Boothroyd, L. G., et al. (2011). Viewing heavy […]
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12:50 AM | Feb 2012: Women smell better when ovulating
How variation in our natural body odour could put pay to the perfume industry. Whether healthy faces belong to healthy people. And I finally turn self-help guru and dish out some advice on how to stop your one night stands demanding a wedding ring.Download the MP3 "Helen suddenly remembered that it was day 23 of her cycle." New research by Kelly Gildersleeve shows that women's body odour is slightly more attractive around ovulation, and slightly less attractive a few days later, when fertility […]
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12:50 AM | March 2012: Eating fruit and veg makes you prettier
Why a gameshow host’s chiselled jawline can make his contestants smarter, the exact number of daily portions of fruit and veg that are required to boost beauty, and why counting money makes men choosier. Download the MP3 New research shows that The Voice's format is right for the wrong reasons: by concealing the contestants from the judges, the judges aren't influenced by appearances, but also, by preventing the contestants from seeing the judges, performances aren't given an unfair […]
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12:49 AM | April 2012: Disgust sensitivity and attraction
Why men are attracted to women who’ve necked a few too many Bacardi Breezers, how your reaction to dog poo is related to how you judge beauty, and why women’s sexual fantasies get kinkier towards the middle of the month.Download the MP3 Bieber thinks you're ugly. New research out this month suggests that unattractive people appear especially unappealing to people who are sensitive to disgust in their everyday lives.The articles covered in the show: Goetz, C. D., Easton, J. A., […]
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12:49 AM | May 2012: Laziness and mating behaviour
We find out who’s lazier – men or women – and what this might mean for your love life. We also discover why men who are good with children prefer women with larger breasts, and why you should never trust a man who likes horror movies.Download the MP3 Men prefer to lie in longer than women, but who gets more sleep overall? And what does sleep duration have to do with mating behaviour? We find out in this month's episode.The articles covered in the show: Randler, C., […]
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12:48 AM | June 2012: Infidelity special
This month, an infidelity special: we look at three lines of research that shed new light on how we strive to save our relationships from those out to poach our partners, why some are disposed to be home wreckers while others aren’t, and how parenthood can blind us to our partner’s indiscretions.Download the MP3 Two's company...The articles covered in the show:Starratt, V. G., & Shackelford, T. K. (2012). He said, she said: Men’s reports of mate value and mate retention […]
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12:48 AM | July 2012: Sport and attractiveness
The Olympics are upon us, but what's the point of all that hard work? Except for the gold medals, glory and lucrative sponsorship deals that is. We also find out how a brief writing exercise can make you a sucker for a cheap chat up line, and why the Mormons had it right about polygamy the first time.Download the MP3Nice medal. But seriously, what is the point?The articles covered in the show:Brewer, G., & Howarth, S. (2012). Sport, attractiveness and aggression. Personality and Individual […]
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12:47 AM | Aug 2012: Women are prettier near ovulation
This month, why seeing red might have less to do with anger than attraction. We also discover if opposites attract when it comes to bodyweight, and find out how the way you walk is tied to your hormones.If 14 minutes of me blathering on isn't enough for you, I gave an extended interview to Jose Drost-Lopez of Psychtalkradio.com this month. You can download a podcast of that interview here.Download the MP3It's that time of the month again... A composite photograph of women at ovulation (a) and […]
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