Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/10911
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Trade-offs between markers of absolute and relative quality in human facial preferences
Authors: Saxton, Tamsin K
Little, Anthony
Rowland, Hannah M
Gao, Ting
Roberts, S Craig
Contact Email: craig.roberts@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: attractiveness
face preference
facial masculinity
genetic compatibility
mate choice
self-similarity
Issue Date: Sep-2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Saxton TK, Little A, Rowland HM, Gao T & Roberts SC (2009) Trade-offs between markers of absolute and relative quality in human facial preferences, Behavioral Ecology, 20 (5), pp. 1133-1137.
Abstract: Individuals are attuned to cues of quality in potential mates. Mate quality is assessed on both an absolute scale, independent of the observer, and also on a relative scale, dependent on attributes of the observer. Much research has focused on how individuals respond to either absolute or relative quality in mate choice, but how these dimensions are weighted during mate-choice decisions is poorly understood and has recently attracted much theoretical interest. Here, we examine the interplay between women's facial preferences for a measure of absolute quality (sexual dimorphism) and one of relative quality (self-similarity). Women rated the attractiveness of male faces that had been simultaneously manipulated along the dimensions of masculinity and self-similarity in short-term and long-term relationship contexts. Sexual dimorphism had a greater positive effect on ratings than self-similarity, and masculinity and self-similarity had positive combinative effects on ratings of attractiveness. Women's coexpressed preferences for masculine faces combined with their lesser preference for subtly self-similar faces may reflect selection of good genes, promote optimal outbreeding, and give rise to directional selection, even in the presence of a general self-similarity preference.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/10911
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arp107
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Liverpool
Psychology
University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
Psychology

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