Peter H Brown Clinical Psychologist

Psychology News & Resources

The “Science” Of Physical Attractiveness: Now You Can Participate In The Research Online

Scientists in Australia and Hong Kong have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness.

The study, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, found that across cultural divides young, tall and long armed women were considered the most attractive.

You can participate in the ongoing research at www.bodylab.biz The current research online involves the rating of male and /or female body shape and male facial attractiveness.

Physical attractiveness is an important determining factor for evolutionary, social and economic success,” said lead author Robert Brooks from the University of New South Wales. “The dimensions of someone’s body can tell observers if that person is suitable as a potential mate, a long term partner or perhaps the threat they pose as a sexual competitor.”

Traditional studies of attractiveness have been bound to the Darwinian idea of natural selection, which argues that an individual will always choose the best possible mate that circumstances will allow. Such studies have focused on torso, waist, bust and hip measurements. In this study the team measured the attractiveness of scans of 96 bodies of Chinese women who were either students or volunteers, aged between 2049 years of age.

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Videos of the models were shown to a sample of 92 Australian adults, 40 men and 52 women, aged between 18 to 58 years of age, and mostly of European descent. They then compared the attractiveness ratings given by the Australian group to the ratings from a group in Hong Kong to avoid cultural bias.

Both sample groups were asked to rate the models’ attractiveness on a 7 point scale; on average the raters took just 5.35 seconds to rate each model. The team then explored the statistical results, focusing on age, body weight and a range of length and girth measurements.

The results showed that there was a strong level of agreement between the 4 groups of Australian men and women, and Hong Kong men and women, with scans of younger, taller and lighter women being rated as more attractive. Women with narrow waists, especially relative to their height, were also considered much more attractive.

The study also revealed that BMI (Body mass index) and HWR (Hip to waist ratio) were both strong predictors of attractiveness. Scans of taller women who had longer arms were also rated highly, however leg size did not contribute significantly to the ratings.

“Our results showed consistent attractiveness ratings by men and women and by Hong Kong Chinese and Australian raters, suggesting considerable cross cultural consistency,” concluded Brooks. “In part this may be due to shared media experiences. Nonetheless when models are stripped of their most obvious racial and cultural features, the features that make bodies attractive tend to be shared by men and women across cultural divides.”

Brooks and his colleagues have taken their studies of the complexities of male and female attractiveness online at www.bodylab.biz.

Source: Wiley Blackwell

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October 4, 2010 Posted by | Cognition, Intimate Relationshps, Marriage, research, Sex & Sexuality, Social Psychology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Have The Time Of Your Life” Or “Beat It”: The Dance Moves That Make Men Attractive

The key dance moves that make men attractive to women have been discovered by psychologists at Northumbria University.

Credit: Medical News Today:

Using 3D motion-capture technology to create uniform avatar figures, researchers have identified the key movement areas of the male dancer’s body that influence female perceptions of whether their dance skills are “good” or “bad”.

The study, led by psychologist Dr Nick Neave and researcher Kristofor McCarty, has for the first time identified potential biomechanical differences between “good” and “bad” male dancers. Its findings are published in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters on Wednesday 8th September.

Dr Neave believes that such dance movements may form honest signals of a man’s reproductive quality, in terms of health, vigour or strength, and will carry out further research to fully grasp the implications.

Researchers, at Northumbria’s School of Life Sciences, filmed 19 male volunteers, aged 1835, with a 3-D camera system as they danced to a basic rhythm. Their real-life movements were mapped onto feature-less, white, gender-neutral humanoid characters, or avatars, so that 35 heterosexual women could rate their dance moves without being prejudiced by each male’s individual level of physical attractiveness.

The results showed that eight movement variables made the difference between a “good” and a “bad” dancer. These were the size of movement of the neck, trunk, left shoulder and wrist, the variability of movement size of the neck, trunk and left wrist, and the speed of movement of the right knee.

Female perceptions of good dance quality were influenced most greatly by large and varied movements involving the neck and trunk.

Dr Neave said: “This is the first study to show objectively what differentiates a good dancer from a bad one. Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract women.

“We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgement about male dance attractiveness. If a man knows what the key moves are, he can get some training and improve his chances of attracting a female through his dance style.”

Kristofor McCarty said: “The methods we have used here have allowed us to make some preliminary predictions as to why dance has evolved. Our results clearly show that there seems to be a strong general consensus as to what is seen as a good and bad dance, and that women appear to like and look for the same sort of moves.

“From this, we predict that those observations have underlying traits associated with them but further research must be conducted to support such claims.”

Dr Neave and Kristofor McCarty also worked with fellow Northumbria researchers Dr Nick Caplan and Dr Johannes Hönekopp, and Jeanette Freynik and Dr Bernhard Fink, from the University of Goettingen, on the landmark study.

Sources: Northumbria University, AlphaGalileo Foundation.

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September 20, 2010 Posted by | brain, Health Psychology, Intimate Relationshps, Marriage, Sex & Sexuality, Technology | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments