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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Human facial attributes, but not perceived intelligence, are used as cues of health and resource provision potential
Author(s): Lee, Anthony J
Dubbs, Shelli L
Kelly, Ashleigh J
von Hippel, William
Brooks, Robert C
Zietsch, Brendan P
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Issue Date: May-2013
Citation: Lee AJ, Dubbs SL, Kelly AJ, von Hippel W, Brooks RC & Zietsch BP (2013) Human facial attributes, but not perceived intelligence, are used as cues of health and resource provision potential. Behavioral Ecology, 24 (3), pp. 779-787.
Abstract: Avoiding disease and acquiring resources have been recurrent challenges throughout human evolution. These abilities are particularly relevant to mate preferences, as pathogens and resources can both be transferred between mates and to mutual offspring. Based on 689 participants' attractiveness ratings of manipulated online dating profiles, we tested whether pathogen and resource concerns predicted revealed mate preferences for facial attractiveness, facial sexual dimorphism, and perceived intelligence and also whether these different trait preferences were intercorrelated. Supporting our predictions, pathogen concerns positively predicted men and women's preferences for facial attractiveness and men's preference for facial femininity, whereas women's resource concerns negatively predicted their preference for facial masculinity. Unexpectedly, neither pathogen nor resource concerns predicted preference for greater perceived intelligence. Further, preference for perceived intelligence was negatively correlated with preference for facial attractiveness, which was positively correlated with preference for facial sexual dimorphism. These findings suggest that facial attributes are used in mate assessment as cues of health and likelihood of resource provisioning, whereas intelligence may primarily be used as a cue of other, distinct qualities.
DOI Link: 10.1093/beheco/ars199
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