• ZDF Lust & Lüge


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

Human facial and body morphology

I study human facial and body morphology in social perception. For example, I have investigated the perception of male/female faces and bodies in relation to physical strength and symmetry as well as ovulatory cycle dependent preferences and psychology. I am interested in the effects of visual skin condition on the perception of female and male faces. This includes cross-cultural investigation. I also aim to understand the role of facial and head hair on assessments of physical appearance.

Human body movement and nonverbal communication

I study the signaling quality of human gait and dance. By employing 2D (video) and 3D (motion-capture) technology, I investigate the information people derive from male and female gait and dance movements. This includes research in children and adults. I aim to expand insights from the study of industrialized (WEIRD) societies to the investigations in pre-industrialized (small-scale) societies and identify cross-cultural similarities and differences in the perception of human body movement.

Digit ratio and sex-dependent traits/behavior

Digit ratio (2D:4D) – a biomarker of prenatal exposure to sex steroids – has been shown to correlate with a variety of sex-dependent physical, cognitive, and behavioral measures. I have investigated 2D:4D in relation to facial morphology, physical strength, cognition, personality, sexuality, and health-related measures. In recent studies together with J. Manning, I consider large samples (the BBC internet study) in the investigation of 2D:4D relationships with sex-dependent measures across nations. I am also interested in short-term (context-dependent) endocrinological changes and how they related to measures of prenatal androgenization.

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