• ZDF Lust & Lüge

Research

My research focuses on the study of human social interaction and cognition, including mate preferences and interpersonal attraction. I employ the evolutionary psychology framework, thus investigating the evolutionary causes and consequences of human behavior in social context. My studies can be categorized, broadly, into the following topics:

Human facial and body morphology

Studies on human facial and body morphology include the investigation of face/body shape and the role of visible skin condition in social perception. For example, I have investigated the perception of male/female faces and bodies in relation to measures of physical strength and symmetry as well as ovulatory cycle dependent female preferences and psychology. I am interested in the relative contributions of skin topography and skin coloration cues in perception of male and female faces. I further aim to understand the role of facial and head hair on assessments of physical appearance.

Human body movement and nonverbal communication

The focus of my work on human body movement is on the signaling quality of human gait and dance. By employing 2D (video) and 3D (motion-capture) technology, I have been investigating information people derive from male and female gait and dance movements. This includes the study of body movement perception in children and adults. Current research aims to expand insights from the study of industrialized societies to related investigations in pre-industrialized (small-scale) societies, thus trying to identify cross-cultural similarities and differences in the perception of human movement.

Digit ratio and sex-dependent traits/behavior

Digit ratio (2D:4D) is supposed to be a biomarker of prenatal exposure to sex steroids and has been shown to correlate with a variety of sex-dependent physical, cognitive and behavioral measures. I have been investigating this trait, for example, in relation to facial morphology, physical strength, personality, and health-related measures. Recent studies consider large samples in the investigation of  digit ratio relationships with sex-dependent measures across nations. I am further interested in short-term endocrinological changes, especially in competitive settings, and how they related to measures of prenatal androgenization.