Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reading the look of love

Date:
July 1, 2010
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
How fast you can judge whether a person of the opposite sex is looking at you depends on how masculine or feminine they look, according to a new study. The researchers speculate that there may be an evolutionary advantage to quickly noticing when a 'hottie' is looking at you.

How fast you can judge whether a person of the opposite sex is looking at you depends on how masculine or feminine they look, according to a new study. The researchers speculate that there may be an evolutionary advantage to quickly noticing when a hottie is looking at you.

Psychologists have debated how we determine whether someone else is looking at us or not. One point of view is that "it's almost a geometric problem," says Benedict C. Jones, of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland – that people just look at the whites of the eyes and other features of the face, without being influenced by the face in general. But Jones and his colleagues, Julie Main, Lisa DeBruine, and Lisa Welling of the University of Aberdeen and Anthony Little of Stirling University, thought there was more to it. They designed an experiment to see whether how masculine or feminine the face was affected how quickly a viewer could assess its gaze.

Volunteers looked at faces with exaggerated or reduced male or female features; the faces had been morphed to look either more or less masculine or feminine. As the faces flashed on a computer screen, the volunteer was supposed to hit a key as quickly as possible to indicate whether the face was looking at them or away from them. Both women and men could do that more quickly when the face had exaggerated sexual characteristics. "Women were quickest to classify gaze direction when they were looking at hunky, masculine-looking guys. Guys were quicker when they were looking at pretty, feminine women," says Jones. The research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Jones speculates that this ability to perceive things about attractive people faster may have been useful to early humans. Previous research shows that feminine women and masculine men make the healthiest mates. "There's likely to be quite a big advantage to detecting when a particularly good potential mate's looking at you," says Jones. "If I'm in a bar and there's a pretty woman looking at me – if I wasn't married – I would want to catch her eye before someone else did."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Reading the look of love." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628124703.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2010, July 1). Reading the look of love. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628124703.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Reading the look of love." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628124703.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins