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COM 492 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Ovulation, Androstadienone, Positron

Course Code
COM 492
Lance S. Rintamaki
Study Guide

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Bio-Physio Part 1
Sexual communication (cue/message exchange)
o Sending and receiving messages to generate sex related topics
Contexts, cultures, channels, and media
Verbal and nonverbal, mediated and face-to-face (interpersonal, small
group), and dynamic
o Speed dating studies
Within 3 seconds people decide (1/2)
Do they look right, sound right, smell right, and act right
o Bio-physiological cues
Drives quirky behavior and sex. Com.
Argues- often communicate in biological level
Mate-selection cues and safety
Many signals done without consciousness
Affects sex. Com. And decision-making
Rooted in evolution
o Natural/sexual selection
Darwin (1859)
Survival of the fittest and sexual selection caused evolutionary
Intersexual selection
o Occur across sexes
o Females more selective
Discriminating mating choices
Strongest offspring, high parental investment
Intrasexual selection
o Competition within sexes
Male competitive with other males to win females
Social hierarchies
Facial averageness
o Blending faces
Rated as more appealing than average of individual
Blending races
Rhodes study 1
o Blended Asian, caucasian, Asian &
o A/C combo most attractive
Rhodes Study 2
o Eurasians and same result
o Familiarity hypothesis
Comfort, avg. of many faces
o Reproductive cues
Typical feature signify genetic problems
Charles Habsburg 2

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o Caveat
Adding specific, non-average characteristics
Perrett & Fife (1994)
Men and women ranked 60 women’s faces
Three faces
o Composite of 60 women’s faces
o 15 most attractive women’s faces
o all 60 plus mods to cheeks and facial
o Health and developmental stability
o Thornhill et al (2006)
Measured 400 men and women for symmetry
Chin length, jaws, lip width, eye width,
More symmetrical = better health records (on
o Theory 1
Person’s reproductive potential
o Theory 2
Person’s potential genetic contributions to offspring
o Theory 3
Thwarts familiarity
High symmetry = abnormal, weird, and
Sexual dimorphism
o Sex-related hormones shape person’s body
Testosterone affects
Prominent jaw line, cheekbones, thicker
brow ridges, larger noses, smaller eyes,
thinner lips, facial hair, relatively long lover-
half of face
Estrogen causes
Plumper lips, smaller/pointier chin, smaller
nose, rounder cheekbones, higher eyebrows,
and narrower lower-half of face
Affects what men and women are looking for
o 10 faces
o hyper masculine and hyper feminine
Bio-Physio Part 2
The Myth of Learned Attractiveness
o Culturally presented ideals on what is attractive
o Ford & Beach (1951)
Differences between cultures in preferences

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Body weight, Breast size, Aspect of female physique
o To some extent false (1970s)
o Laglois and colleagues (2000)
Cultural and cross culture agreement on attractive faces
Particular culture rate an attractive face but another culture rates
someone else
People everywhere are using the same criteria
o Benefits
Positive personality attributions
Upward economic mobility (women)
More likely to be hired
Judgements about Seriousness of committed crimes
Pay lower bail
o Eye Contact
Clark Study
Study on ESP (70 opp. Sex strangers)
Pretested for Emotional Responsiveness to Facial Expression
o How emotions on other peoples’ faces affect you
Gaze into eyes for two mins
o High ERFE = High in passionate love for partner
University of Alaska Study
Romantic beliefs scale (RBS)
“love at first sight”
Same as Clark study
High RBS = high romantic love
What causes these effects
Facial-feedback hypothesis
o Expressions initiate genuine feeling
o Gaze study- acting like a person in love
o Eye gaze enhance/initiate a feeling of love
When gazing into someone you share a close relational bond & affection
Amygdala (emotional center of brain) fires up
Three hormones
o Adrenaline (excitement, dilates pupils and blood vessels)
o Dopamine (neurotransmitter that makes you feel good)
o Oxytocin (attachment)
o During sex
o Pupil Dilation
Hess Study 1
Women= pictures of children and naked men
Men= pictures of naked women
Hess Study 2
Men preferred pics of larger pupils
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