Photo of Christopher Watkins

Christopher Watkins

Senior Lecturer

  • 476 Citations
  • 14 h-Index
20102019
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Personal profile

Personal profile

I commenced my funded PhD in October 2010 (University of Aberdeen, supervised by Professor Benedict Jones), gained my lectureship in September 2012 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2017. I have published 29 peer-reviewed scientific papers, which includes 16 first-authored papers, 7 papers independent of PhD team, 4 sole-authored papers and 3 student-authored papers as PI (WoS statistics, 02/19: h index = 13, citations = 396, most cited paper = 57 citations). I have also published 5 book chapters and 1 magazine article and delivered 8 peer-reviewed conference papers, 1 invited talk and 16 conference posters. My research has attracted funding from The Carnegie Trust, The Experimental Psychology Society, Human Behavior and Evolution Society and the European Human Behavior and Evolution Association.

I am primarily interested in social judgements of faces and voices, in order to understand social interactions with possible romantic partners and associates. My work has attracted media attention with over 130 articles in international outlets and news media, including ScienceAPS Observer, The Atlantic, BBC, New York Post, The Times, The Australian, Hindustan Times and South China Morning Post. I have consolidated evidence from my recent research in a book chapter (Facial Displays of Leaders, Palgrave), and I am Section Editor for The Encyclopaedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science (Springer). My TEDx talk can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtPv1wuFJYI 

Prospective MbR/PhD students can visit my website (https://www.relationship-lab.com/) or contact me directly if they wish to discuss potential research opportunities.

Teaching

Programme Leader: BSc Psychology and Counselling (NSS 2018 "Overall satisfaction" = 100%)

https://www.abertay.ac.uk/course-search/undergraduate/psychology-and-counselling

Current teaching:

PSY401 Human Evolutionary Psychology (Module Leader); PSY207 Philosophy of Science, Mind and Self (Module Leader); SPS404: Student-Negotiated Learning (Module Leader). 

I have been nominated for three and co-won one Student Led Teaching Award since commencing my post at Abertay.

Current PG Supervision: Jordan Sculley 

Project supervision and mentoring are important parts of my teaching. To date, I have supervised 61 students and/or funded Research Assistants (including 2 PhD and 4 MbR students) and have also supervised several volunteer RA's under the School's Research Volunteer Scheme. Supervision has generated 5 research outputs to date (2 papers and 3 international conference posters). Please contact me if you are interested in carrying out postgraduate research on a relevant project under my supervision.

Peer-reviewed papers published as PI/Corresponding author with student co-authors:

James, E., Jenkins, S. & Watkins, C. D. (2018). Negative effects of makeup use on perceptions of leadership ability across two ethnicities. Perception, 47, 540-549.

Watkins, C. D., Nicholls, M. J., Batres, C., Xiao, D., Talamas, S. & Perrett, D. I. (2017). Own attractiveness and perceived relationship quality shape sensitivity in women's memory for other men on the attractiveness dimension. Cognition, 163, 146-154.

Cowan, M. L., Watkins, C. D., Fraccaro, P. J., Feinberg, D. R. & Little, A. C. (2016). It's the way he tells them (and who is listening): Men's dominance is positively correlated with their preference for jokes told by dominant-sounding men. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37, 97-104.

Research interests

What pulls us closer toward some people over others? Why do we look up to certain people (even if briefly) at the expense of others?

I am interested in how humans agree and differ in their judgements of attractiveness and whether our romantic preferences and sexuality provide a window into our evolutionary history. I am also interested in whether problems related to competition and cooperation faced by humans over evolutionary history have shaped our social judgements of others today. To date, most of this work has been conducted using computer graphic techniques inspired by Sir Francis Galton, which enables you to manipulate facial characteristics in order to test whether such manipulations have a corresponding effect on our first impression judgements of other people (e.g. by manufacturing two different versions of the same individual). My reserach interests bridge perspectives from cognitive, biological and social psychology with evolutionary biology, anthropology and zoology.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in collaboration or in conducting a postgraduate project under my supervision.

Funding

Over £54,000 attracted in awards/funding (06/2015). My research has attracted funding from The Carnegie Trust.

Esteem

I am currently Section Editor (over 100 entries) for the Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science (Springer). This is an international multidisciplinary publication (expected for online and print publication early 2018).

Associate Fellow. British Psychological Society.

PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Graduated with distinction, November 2014).

Ad-Hoc Reviewer: British Journal of Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, PLoS One, Ethology, Evolution and Human Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, European Journal of Personality, Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Czech Science Foundation.

Editor's Assistant, Evolutionary Psychology (August 2011 - February 2013).

Student-led teaching awards. Best Feedback on Assessments (Nominated, 2015), Outstanding Teacher Award (Nominated, 2016), Most Innovative Learning Experience (Won, 2016 for TEDx Abertay).

British Psychological Society 'New Voices' Competition Winner (October 2010).

Honorable mention. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Poster Competition (Eugene, Oregon, June 2010).

6th Century Studentship, University of Aberdeen.

Member. British Psychological Society, Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

Knowledge and Exchange

(all KE activity listed below are oral presentations unless otherwise indicated)

Sculley, J., Watkins, C. D. & Ritchie, K. L. (2019). Initial experimental evidence that the ability to choose between items alters attraction to familiar versus novel persons in different ways for men and women. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Conference (Pre-conference on Psychology of Media and Technology), Portland, Oregon (February 2019). *Poster*

Watkins, C. D. & Leitch, A. (2018). If the shoe fits? Using sexual selection theories to examine potential between-women and within-women differences in their responses to high heels. International Society for Human Ethology Biennial Conference, Santiago, Chile (August/September 2018).

Sculley, J., Watkins, C. D. & Ritchie, K. L. (2018). The Coolidge Effect and Online Dating: Primed choice of both potential dates and resources directly reduces the attractiveness of familiar faces. International Society for Human Ethology Biennial Conference, Santiago, Chile (September 2018). *Poster*

Watkins, C. D., Leongomez, J. D., Bovet, J., Zelazniewicz, A., Korbmacher, M., Correa Varella, M. A., Fernandez, A. M., Wagstaff, D. & Bolgan, S. (2018). Do national health and wealth predict attitudes toward, and use of mouth-to-mouth kissing in romantic relationships? International Society for Human Ethology Biennial Conference, Santiago, Chile (September 2018). *Poster*

Watkins, C.D., Nicholls, M., Batres, C., Xiao, D., Talamas, S. & Perrett, D.I. (2017). Own attractiveness and perceived relationship quality shape women's memory for other men on the attractiveness dimension. Human Behaviour and Evolution Society, Boise, Idaho (June 2017).

Cowan, M. L., Watkins, C. D., Fraccaro, P. J., Feinberg, D. R. & Little, A. C. (2015). It's the way he tells them: Men's dominance is positively correlated with their preference for jokes told by dominant-sounding men. PTNCE, Poznan, Poland (September 2015).

Watkins, C. D., DeBruine, L. M., Little, A. C. & Jones, B. C. (2015). Social support influences preferences for feminine facial cues in potential social partners. EHBEA, Helsinki, Finland (Poster Presentation, March/April 2015).

Hegarty, L., Tadden-Paterson, C. & Watkins, C. D. (2015). What you see is what you get? The Dark Triad and sex differences in impression management in online dating. British Psychological Society Undergraduate Conference (Scottish Branch), University of Strathclyde, March 2015.

Watkins, C. D. (2014). The Face of Dundee. Public Lecture, Dundee Science Festival, Abertay University (November 2014).

Tilley, E. B., Cunningham, C. L. & Watkins, C. D. (2014). Do romantic partners impose additional costs than other social partners? PTNCE, Wroclaw, Poland (Poster Presentation, October 2014).

Watkins, C. D., DeBruine, L. M., Little, A. C., Feinberg, D. R. & Jones, B. C. (2014). Priming concerns about pathogen threat versus resource scarcity: Dissociable effects on women's perceptions of men's attractiveness and dominance. PTNCE, Wroclaw, Poland (October 2014).

Watkins, C. D., DeBruine, L. M., Feinberg, D. R. & Jones, B. C. (2014). A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Natal, Brazil (August 2014, Chair of session on Aggression and Homicide).

Watkins, C. D. (2013). Take me out? The science of love, sex and attraction. Public Lecture, Dundee Science Festival, Abertay University (November 2013).

Watkins, C. D. (2013). Competition and social perception of faces. Invited talk, Behavior and Evolution Research Group, University of Stirling.

Watkins, C. D. & Jones, B. C. (2012). Priming men with different contest outcomes modulates their dominance perceptions. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Watkins, C. D., Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., DeBruine, L. M. & Feinberg, D. R. (2011). Cues to the sex ratio of the local population influence women's preferenecs for facial symmetry. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Montpellier, France.

Watkins, C. D., Quist, M. C., Smith, F. G., DeBruine, L. M. & Jones, B. C. (2011). Individual differences in women's perceptions of other women's dominance. Evolutionary and Biological Approaches to Behaviour Research Group, Abertay University, Scotland.

Outreach

My Dundee Science Festival Lecture on the Science of Attraction (Nov 2013) is available on the 'AbertayTV' channel on Youtube. It has already been viewed over 10k times in over 100 countries (10/16). I ran the 'Face of Dundee' project for Dundee Science Festival in 2014. My research has received media attention from Nature, Science, BBC, STV, Sky News (Australia), Channel 9 (Australian News), APS Observer (American Psychological Association), Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Loaded, Men's Health, The Atlantic, NY Magazine, Business Insider, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Japan Times, South China Morning Post, Associated Free Press (France), Huffington Post (Canada), Gazeta (Russia), IOL (South Africa), The Australian, The Malay Mail, Sunday Times (South Africa), New York Post, BaoMoi (Vietnam), The Courier, The Scotsman, The Evening Telegraph, The Press and Journal, The Scottish Sun, America in the Morning (Radio), DeutschlandRadio Wissen, BBC Radio Scotland, local radio and several other local newspapers. I have also assisted with School visits run by the Student Recruitment Office, speaking to students about my research and running demonstrations.
 

The video of my TED Talk (02/16) is available here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtPv1wuFJYI

Link to blog:

http://www.relationship-lab.com/sex-citing-blog 

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Cues Medicine & Life Sciences
Individuality Medicine & Life Sciences
Femininity Medicine & Life Sciences
Aptitude Medicine & Life Sciences
Sex Characteristics Medicine & Life Sciences
Wit and Humor Medicine & Life Sciences
Masculinity Medicine & Life Sciences
mate choice Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2010 2019

Open Access
File
Aptitude
Motivation

Kissing

Watkins, C. D., 12 Feb 2019, Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. Shackelford, T. K. & Weekes-Shackelford, V. A. (eds.). Living edition ed. Springer, 3 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

6 Downloads (Pure)

National income inequality predicts cultural variation in mouth to mouth kissing

Watkins, C. D., Leongómez, J. D., Bovet, J., Zelazniewicz, A., Korbmacher, M., Correa Varella, M. A., Fernandez, A. M., Wagstaff, D. & Bolgan, S., 30 Apr 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 9 p., 6698.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Pair Bond
Mouth
Health
Courtship
Gestures

Do national health and wealth predict attitudes toward, and use of mouth-to-mouth kissing in romantic relationships?

Watkins, C. D., Loengomez, J. D., Bovet, J., Zelazniewicz, A., Korbmacher, M., Correa Varella, M. A., Fernandez, A. M., Wagstaff, D. & Bolgan, S., 7 Sep 2018, p. 104. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Formidability and alliance politics in humans and nonhuman species

Watkins, C. D., 26 Sep 2018, The facial displays of leaders. Senior, C. (ed.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 27-49 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

politics
evolutionary biology
recommendation

Thesis

Cooperation, reminiscence and repeated interviews of suspects

Author: Scott, L., Aug 2016

Supervisor: Watkins, C. D. (Supervisor) & La Rooy, D. J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

File

Examining the efficacy of joint investigative interview training through analysing the quality of interview conducted with role-play actors

Author: Nicol, A., 14 Aug 2017

Supervisor: Watkins, C. D. (Supervisor), Woolnough, P. (Supervisor), La Rooy, D. J. (Supervisor) & Gabbert, F. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Personality, appearance and temporal responses to potential romantic partners

Author: Evans, G., Aug 2016

Supervisor: Watkins, C. D. (Supervisor) & Wright, L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis