• 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 causes and consequences of human behavior in a 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 physical strength and symmetry as well as ovulatory cycle dependent preferences and psychology. I am interested in the effects of skin topography and skin coloration cues on the 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

I study the signaling quality of human gait and dance in a social context. By employing 2D (video) and 3D (motion-capture) technology, I investigate information people derive from male and female gait and dance movements. This includes the study of body movement perception in children and adults. Currently, I aim to expand insights from the study of industrialized (WEIRD) societies to related investigations in pre-industrialized (small-scale) societies, trying to 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 this trait in relation to facial morphology, physical strength, cognition, personality, and health-related measures. In recent studies (together with J. Manning), I 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.