The Psychology of Attractiveness PodcastAuthor: Dr. Robert Burriss
19 May 2019

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

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Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

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    Breakin' up is hard to do: the final regular episode of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. 16 Apr 2019

    This month, we interrogate the psychology of the faithful and the faithless. Why do some people pass up the opportunity to cheat on their partners? And, when people do cheat, how do they justify their behaviour?

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    8 Reasons Not to Cheat
    “It Didn’t Mean Anything.”

    It's never the right time to leave. Freestocks.

    The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast: 2009-2019
    This month's episode marks the 10th anniversary of the podcast, and will also be the final regular episode. I started The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast exactly 10 years ago, in April 2009. When I began, I had no endpoint in mind. Neither did I think that 10 years later I would still be doing it. If I cast my mind back to the spring of 2009, I remember assuming that I would continue with the podcast until I started lecturing.

    However, my career took a different path: a succession of fixed-term teaching and research posts has taken me from America, back to England, to Scotland, and now to Switzerland. Although I sometimes teach and supervise students, my workload never shot up overnight as I expected it would. This meant that the day never arrived when it was obvious I had to stop.

    The approaching anniversary has presented me with the opportunity to reflect on how far the podcast has come and where I want it to go from here. More people are listening to the podcast now than ever. I still enjoy choosing research to talk about and recording and editing each show. But I have realised that I no longer have enough time to devote to The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast.

    I would like to spend more time thinking and writing, without the pressure to put out a podcast every four weeks. I am sure this will be disappointing to many of you who have been listening to the podcast for a long time. I want to thank you for sticking with me. I will continue to write about the psychology of attraction, and you will be able to read my blogs here.

    I also hope you'll stay subscribed to the podcast: although I will no longer post regular monthly episodes, I will occasionally put out special episodes. The first of these will appear in your feed next month, and will feature interviews from the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Conference in Toulouse.

    Until then, thanks for listening to The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast!

    The articles covered in the show:

    Apostelou, M., & Panayiotou, R. (2019). The reasons that prevent people from cheating on their partners: an evolutionary account of the propensity not to cheat. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, 34-40. Read summary

    Warach, B., Josephs, L., & Gorman, B. S. (in press). Are cheaters sexual hypocrites? Sexual hypocrisy, the self-serving bias, and personality style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary


  • Posted on 16 Apr 2019

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    Faking orgasm: who fakes and why? 19 Mar 2019

    This month, we investigate faking orgasm. Who fakes orgasms, and why? We also find out how men and women weigh up the relative importance of facial and bodily attractiveness in a partner.

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    Faking Orgasm: Who Fakes and Why?
    Face or Body: Which Traits Attract a Partner for Committed or Brief Relationships?

    Look like they're having fun. But are they just faking it? Flickr/Jessica Wüst

    The articles covered in the show:

    Jonason, P. K. (2019). Reasons to pretend to orgasm and the mating psychology of those who endorse them. Personality and Individual Differences, 143, 90-94. Read summary

    Zaidi, A. A., White, J. D., Mattern, B. C., Liebowitz, C. R., Puts, D. A., Claes, P., et al. (in press). Facial masculinity does not appear to be a condition-dependent male ornament and does not reflect MHC heterozygosity in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read summary


  • Posted on 19 Mar 2019

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    Oxytocin and mate choice. 19 Feb 2019

    In this month's episode we look at how men and women's partner preferences are affected by a dose of oxytocin, aka "the love hormone". We'll also find out whether germophobes are more or less likely to pursue short-term relationships.

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    Disgust and Short-Term Relationships
    Oxytocin and Mate-Choice

    How does oxytocin affect men and women's partner preferences? Freestocks

    The articles covered in the show:

    Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M. G., Ghossainy, M. E., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Experimentally inducing disgust reduces desire for short-term mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

    Xu, L., Becker, B., Luo, R., Zheng, X., Zhao, W., Zhang, Q., et al. (2018). Oxytocin amplifies sex differences in human mate choice. BioRxiv. Read preprint


  • Posted on 19 Feb 2019

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    Make up and cosmetic surgery. 22 Jan 2019

    I'm back after a holiday break to look at the psychology of appearance enhancement: what does our use of cosmetics say about us to other people? This episode also features an interview with Matthew Vazquez of California State University San Bernardino, who presented his research exploring the complexities of mate attraction at the 2018 HBES conference.

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    What do People Think of Women Who Use Cosmetics and Cosmetic Surgery?

    Does the use of make up, and other efforts at appearance enhancement, affect how we are seen by others? Freestocks

    The articles covered in the show:

    Bradshaw, H. K., Profitt Leyva, R., Nicolas, S. C. A., & Hill, S. E. (2019). Costly female appearance-enhancement provides cues of short-term mating effort: The case of cosmetic surgery. Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 48-55. Read summary

    DelPriore, D. J., Bradshaw, H. K., & Hill, S. E. (2018). Appearance enhancement produces a strategic beautification penalty among women. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12(4), 348-366. Read summary

    Vazquez, M., Cisneros, A., & Goetz, C. (2018). Mate value discrepancies and relationship satisfaction in heterosexual and non-heterosexual romantic relationships. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.


  • Posted on 31 Jan 2019

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    Why do we cuddle? Oct 2012

    This month, we find out how the menstrual cycle influences competition and cooperation and why women’s sexual interest takes a nosedive after childbirth. We also ask the question: what’s the point of cuddling? Does it make us feel closer to our partner, or is it just a stepping stone to sex?


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    "Ah, a nice cuddle. Cuddles are lovely. Not as lovely as sex, obviously..." Freestocks

    The articles covered in the show:

    van Anders, S. M., Edelstein, R. S., Wade, R. M., & Samples-Steele, C. R. (in press). Descriptive experiences and sexual vs. nurturant aspects of cuddling between adult romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

    Rupp, H. A., James, T. W., Ketterson, E. D., Sengelaub, D. R., Ditzen, B., & Heiman, J. R. (in press). Lower sexual interest in postpartum women: Relationship to amygdala activation and intranasal oxytocin. Hormones and Behavior. Read summary

    Lucas, M., & Koff, E. (in press). How conception risk affects competition and cooperation with attractive women and men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary


  • Posted on 22 Jan 2019

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