Entries in physical attractiveness (16)


Debunking 6 Myths About Men, Women, and Their Relationships

When it comes to the behavior of men and women in relationships, almost everyone has an opinion—and usually, it's about how the sexes are different. But what does the research tell us about how men and women really behave in romantic relationships? Often, that they're more alike than we think, and that our common assumptions are wrong. 

Let’s examine six common myths...

Click to read more ...


The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

We want to take a moment to turn you on to an awesome podcast produced by our colleague and fellow ScienceOfRelationships.com contributor, Dr. Robert Burriss. Rob is a research fellow at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and we love his podcast, which is filled with sharp humor, tie-ins to current events, and most importantly, excellent sexy science. We'll be featuring new episodes when they are released, and you can check out some of the recent episodes below: 

If prefer to read rather than listen, transcripts are available here. 

Check out Rob's ScienceOfRelationships.com articles here.


The Scientific Merits of Tinder: Swipe Left or Right?

In the age of online dating, science-based information about the ins and outs of dating services is both timely and important. One digital dating app has seen tremendous rises in popularity since its release - we're speaking of course about Tinder. 

Tinder is a bare bones dating app that allows users to filter in rapid succession through photos of other users who are potential matches. Who you see in your pool of potential matches is based on a very limited set of criteria, customizable to the user – age, location, and gender. When two users mutually rate each other favorably (both swipe right), they are “matched,” which prompts the app to open a dialogue between the two users (basically a texting service within the application). The rest is left to the matched users.

Interestingly, there is no scientific research out there specifically about Tinder (we are unaware of any published scientific papers in psychology or related fields that focus on behavior on Tinder). This lack of data might be because of its novelty—Tinder was released in late 2012. The lack of research could also be due to the fact that Tinder's mainstream popularity is even more recent. Despite the lack of scientific data, however, like all things that attain mainstream popularity, Tinder has been subject to both criticism and support from the general public. 

Click to read more ...


Sexy Bits

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2415408/Feet-revealed-turn-neuroscientists-partial-sexy-shoulder-blades.htmlAre feet sexy? (spoiler alert: no, they are not.) What about knees? A new study investigates how men and women rate the sexiness of various body parts. Read more at theGuardian.com.

Check out our article Fabulous Face or Banging Body: Which is a More Important Characteristic in a Lover? here.


"You Make Time Stand Still": 80 Milliseconds of Hotness

We attempt to estimate “time” on a routine basis. How long will it take to get to work in today’s traffic? How long will I need to complete this project? How much time should I give to reading this article? But just because we regularly estimate time doesn’t mean we are very accurate at our predictions. Certainly there are factors like stress and fatigue that make us better or worse at making predictions about time, but it is also possible that our relationships with others influence us as well. For example, you may have heard the expression “getting lost in someone’s eyes,” but can that mean losing track of time too?

Click to read more ...


Is He a Butt or a Breast Man?: Eye Fixations and Men’s Hump Preference

Men’s fascination with women’s butts and breasts is well known. They will often debate the qualities of each feature when together in a locker room or at a bar. But did you know there is actually empirical research on whether men prefer booty or boobs?

In a series of studies, researchers at the University of Buenos Aires recently looked at heterosexual men’s preferences for women’s breasts or women’s butts.

Click to read more ...


Do People With Dark Personalities Enhance Their Physical Attractiveness?

A friend recently passed along the following and termed it the first date riddle:

“A woman is attending her mother’s funeral and sees a man in the back of the church that she wishes to talk to. He leaves before she gets a chance to speak with him. The next day she kills her sister. Why does she kill her sister?”

The answer to this riddle is that she kills her sister so she can see the man in the back of the church again (she assumes if he attended her mother’s funeral, he would also attend her sister’s). A pretty dark answer, right? The assumption is that the person who answers this riddle correctly is more likely to be a psychopath (empirical evidence not available). Given this possibility, you can ask this riddle on a first date to identify potential psychopath romantic partners before you make the mistake of scheduling a second date.

Click to read more ...


The “Halo” of Hot Women

When you see a really attractive woman, you might be struck by her beauty, but does her beauty affect what you assume is going on in her head? Or what kind of character she has? Perhaps. People tend to assume that physically attractive people hold other positive qualities just by looking at them—this is one example of the “Halo Effect” or what is also known as the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype. For example, observers assume that good-looking people are more socially skilled, better at their jobs, and more emotionally healthy (e.g., less anxiety or loneliness). But is there any truth to this perception? Are hot people actually higher on these qualities? Researchers examined this question in a recent study published in Psychological Science.

Click to read more ...


Top 5 Classic Studies in the Psychology of Attraction

Most of the time our articles focus on current, cutting edge studies. Yet, the nature of science is that it continually builds on findings from previous research. Inevitably, current research stands on the shoulders of giants. Here are some of the “giants” or classic works in attraction research...

Click to read more ...


If I’m Hot, You’re Probably Not

To determine how people’s attractiveness influences their selection of dating partners, researchers examined attractiveness ratings of over 16,000 HOTorNOT.com users, their ratings of others, and their responses to meeting requests. Both women (vs. men) and more (vs. less) attractive individuals were less likely to accept meeting requests. Less attractive individuals were willing to meet less attractive others and did so without artificially inflating the others’ attractiveness (i.e., they knew they were less attractive). 

Lee, L., Loewenstein, G., Ariely, D., Hong, J., & Young, J. (2008). If I'm not hot, are you hot or not? Physical-attractiveness evaluations and dating preferences as a function of one's own attractiveness. Psychological Science, 19(7), 669-677. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02141.x


Curves that Drive the Mad Men Mad

Although Mad Men revolves around the life of the mysterious Don Draper, undoubtedly the coolest character on the show is Ms. Joan Holloway. When you talk to anyone that watches Mad Men, they all either want to be her or be with her. But what makes Joan so appealing? After all, Christina Hendricks, the actress that plays Joan, is not your typical overly skinny Hollywood actress. Instead, Joan Holloway’s appeal may come down to one simple number: .70.

Click to read more ...


Why Are Men Attracted to the "Lady in Red"?

image source: retrieverman.wordpress.comWe discussed previously how men view women who wear red (vs. other colors) as more physically attractive and sexually desirable. Researchers have recently discovered that this preference exists because men perceive red as indicating greater sexual receptivity in women. These results are consistent with evolutionary perspectives and research indicating female primates display red on their bodies to indicate sexual receptivity. 

Pazda, A. D., Elliot, A. J., & Greitemeyer, T. (in press). Sexy red: Perceived sexual receptivity mediates the red-attraction relation in men viewing women. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.12.009


Are You Hot or Not?

Let’s face it. Some of us are physically attractive. Others are…well…not so much. Logic tells us that we can’t all be above average in attractiveness. So how do you know if you are physically attractive or not? Who should you ask? Well, the answer to that question lies in the kind of answer you want. Do you want the truth, or would you rather just feel good about yourself? (Unfortunately, these aren’t always the same thing.)

Click to read more ...


Suntans and Attractiveness: To Tan or Not To Tan?

With summer here, your plans for vacation likely involved spending some time in the sun. But are you going to lather yourself in SPF-100 sun block, or embrace the rays in hopes of achieving a deep brown tan like Snooki or Pauly D from the Jersey Shore?

Click to read more ...


What Are You Wearing to the Oscars?

At this year's Oscars there were plenty of red dresses on the red carpet. Oscar host Anne Hathaway wore a red Valentino, while other actresses such as Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sandra Bullock also wore stunning red dresses.

Sure these dresses are fashionable, but they also make the women who wear them more attractive. Across five experimental studies, researchers at the University of Rochester found that although they don’t realize it, men find women who wear red more sexually desirable than women dressed in other colors.1 Interestingly, wearing red doesn’t make the women seem more kind or more intelligent, just more attractive. On a night when the stars are trying to look attractive, fellow actresses Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Scarlett Johansson might want to considering wearing more red next year. Maybe they'll hire us as Hollywood fashion consultants!  

Click to read more ...


Hall Pass: She's Hot...Well, Maybe Not


This isn't just a movie preview, it is also a great example of relationship science. In the trailer for the new movie Hall Pass, the guys are out at a club when they see a seemingly attractive woman (@2:14 in the clip). Jason Sudeikis’ character Fred gestures to a group of women and says “tall blonde, right here.” Another guy then points out “she surrounds herself with less attractive women to make her look like a 10.” This same guy goes on to demonstrate this idea by putting his hands up to frame the whole group, “hot…” Next, he moves his hands so that you can’t see the blonde’s friends and says “not…” as you see the woman get visibly less attractive. Fred: “that’s amazing, you’re like a Beautiful Mind.”

This is a fantastic example of the contrast effect.

Click to read more ...