A tilt of the head can lure a mate

Nov 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The angle we tilt our head can play a significant role in how attractive we are to the opposite sex, according to latest research.

The findings, published in the latest edition of , are the result of joint research by a husband-and-wife team at the University of Newcastle and Macquarie University that investigated whether differences in visual perspective can alter the face’s appeal and attractiveness.

“Human facial attractiveness from an evolutionary perspective has been extensively studied, and the influence of feminine and masculine facial features on attractiveness is relatively well known,” said lead researcher, Dr. Darren Burke, who is a senior psychology lecturer at the University of Newcastle Central Coast campus.

“A gap in our knowledge, however, is the evolutionary origin of what is considered masculine and feminine about facial features. Our research investigated if looking at the face from different perspectives as a result of the height differential between men and women influenced perceived masculinity or femininity. The research found the way we angle our affects our attractiveness to the opposite sex.”

Men, typically taller than women, view a woman’s face from above; and women view men’s faces from below. Through a series of simulations, the research tested whether the angle of view was an important determinant of masculinity/femininity and attractiveness.

The research found that female faces are judged to be more feminine and more when tilted forwards (simulating viewing from above), and less feminine when tilted backwards (simulating viewing from below). Conversely, male faces are judged more masculine when tilted backwards and less masculine when tilted forwards.

“From a scientific perspective, these findings contribute enormously to our understanding of the role of facial attractiveness in evolution,” said Dr. Danielle Sulikowski, who is jointly affiliated with both Macquarie University and the University of Newcastle.

“While the research provides important information about our evolution, the findings also offer some clues to help unravel the mysteries of mateship rituals in the 21st century. The next step is to determine if people use this effect in real-world mate-attraction scenarios.”

The research used computer-generated, three-dimensional models of male and female faces. Participants rated attractiveness and masculinity and femininity of the faces in five positions: ranging from tilted up to tilted down.

Explore further: How children categorize living things

More information: Evolutionary Psychology is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes writings across a range of the biological and human sciences. A link to the article is available at www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP08573585.pdf

Provided by Macquarie University

3.4 /5 (18 votes)

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User comments : 15

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getgoa
1.9 / 5 (8) Nov 22, 2010
dogs are also cuter when they tilt their heads?

This research is self-revealing, attractiveness and getting one's attention should have been mentioned--Some things never change.

This research is lacking depth/meaning. People should think aside from these pitfalls and find a more correct meaning not the right meaning------- This article is right but not correct.

The article would be correct if and only if the research on dogs tilt of the heads was conclusively done before this article of tilting the heads of humans-- Maybe all of these people are dog owners and like for others to like them?

Another form of begging, how else would a dog get a treat or what they want?
Starbound
4.3 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2010
Hold your head high, fellas!
Bonkers
4 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
what about tilted to one side? - this is a common ploy, done unconsciously, and seems to work - ???
sstritt
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 22, 2010
what about tilted to one side? - this is a common ploy, done unconsciously, and seems to work - ???


And going by the picture, that's what I thought this article was going to be about.
KwasniczJ
1.6 / 5 (26) Nov 22, 2010
Commercial photographers know about it quite well, as feminine movie stars were taken in submissive position at posters usually.

http://www.pophis...orn2.jpg

Later in 50's, when emancipation of women became more popular, the seductively tilted face position was used anyway.

http://www.nndb.c...burn.jpg
Damon_Hastings
1.3 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
getgoa: the article was talking about tilting forward and backward, not sideways. The photo is misleading. (That's what you get with stock photos...)
Husky
not rated yet Nov 22, 2010
you mean the sideways lets go to my place tilt, or the i am not with the other pencilnecks crowd kind of tilt?
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2010
this kind of lends credence to the gangster pose of most contemporary rappers. They lean back, looking down their nose. I've heard it called their "pimp face" before. Perhaps they subconsciously arrived at this conclusion by observing other males. Additionally, most flirtatious and coy faces females make consist of looking down while only looking up with their eyes. I'd say this article hit the mark perfectly.
KomMaelstrom
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
psychology will keep coming out with ridiculous articles if you guys keep encouraging them. Don't you want them to work for a living?
Zed123
not rated yet Nov 22, 2010
dogs are also cuter when they tilt their heads?

This research is self-revealing, attractiveness and getting one's attention should have been mentioned--Some things never change.

This research is lacking depth/meaning. People should think aside from these pitfalls and find a more correct meaning not the right meaning------- This article is right but not correct.

The article would be correct if and only if the research on dogs tilt of the heads was conclusively done before this article of tilting the heads of humans-- Maybe all of these people are dog owners and like for others to like them?

Another form of begging, how else would a dog get a treat or what they want?


There are lots of words in your post and very little coherent meaning. I'm not sure how you related this article to dogs behaviour?
lewando
2.7 / 5 (6) Nov 22, 2010
Okay, a couple of Brits get paid to realize that a downward look means "I'm interested in performing activities related to objects in the general direction of where I'm looking" versus an upward look means "you better get interested in performing activities on objects in the vicinity of where I'm not looking". And this becomes news.
Thex1138
not rated yet Nov 22, 2010
yeah but the tilted head from a hot chick always wins... the rest well... it's for discretionary viewing only 8-)
dan42day
1 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2010
A prominent jaw is a masculine facial feature determined by testosterone levels. In females, a smaller jaw is considered feminine and attractive. Viewing a face from above, or tilted forward would make the jaw look smaller. Conversely viewing a face from below or tilted back would make the jaw look more prominent. I think that this rather than the fact that the tilt simulates the perspectives of taller males and shorter females is the reason it makes one look more attractive to the opposite sex.
Husky
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
I think Lord Flasheart has perfected the art of a bold manly posture, and to think he is played by Rick Mayall, who does the most queer roles as well is really funny
avec
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
Aside from prominent jaw, squinted eyes also play a role in masculine appearance. Think Clint Eastwood, Bill Clinton, Eminem, Snoop Dog, etc... You need to squint when looking down your nose.

In women, not only a small jaw, but high forehead and large eyes, which again mimics the head tilted forward. Also the "fresh from sleep, having just woken up" kind of face. Think Amy Smart, Amanda Seyfried, or Kirstey Alley from the 80s. It's what a guy wants to see in a woman ... her face after she's woken up next to him = time for reproduction = survival of the species.

Humans are such animals.