My research finds that increases in testosterone is associated with increased preferences for sexually dimorphic (i.e., masculinity in males and femininity in females) characteristics and changes in self-perception. Specifically, research shows that testosterone influences perceptions by increasing preferences for masculine men and feminine women, and influencing men’s perceptions of their own dominance. This research demonstrates that, far from being arbitrary, our preferences and perceptions are at least in part governed by biological processes and that beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder.
Dr. Lisa Welling is an Assistant Professor at Oakland University. Her Ph.D., entitled Individual Differences in Face Preferences, was completed in 2008 and was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Grounded in evolutionary reasoning, Dr. Welling’s research generally surrounds three related areas: hormonal influences on behavior, sources of adaptive mate preferences, and interpersonal relationships. In addition to having co-edited a book entitled Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Psychology, Dr. Welling has published five book chapters and more than fifty scientific journal articles. Her research has been featured in the media multiple times on programs including lthe Oprah Winfrey Show and the Discovery Channel documentary Curiosity.
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