Dominance perceptions are critical for effective social interaction, although their primary function is somewhat unclear. While they may function to identify those who can inflict substantial harm, another possibility is that they are specialized for effective direct (i.e., violent) competition for mates, particularly among men. Here we used a pictorial priming paradigm to investigate these two possibilities. Facial cues of dominance were more salient to women after they had been primed with images of angry men than after they had been primed with images of angry women or smiling individuals of either sex. By contrast, dominance cues were more salient to men after they had been primed with female-biased rather than male biased-sex ratios, regardless of the emotional expressions displayed in the slideshows. These findings suggest that while men’s dominance perceptions may be specialized for effective direct intrasexual competition, women’s dominance perceptions may function to maximize their safety more generally.
|Conference||26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference|
|Period||30/07/14 → 2/08/14|