A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions

Christopher D. Watkins, Lisa M. Debruine, David R. Feinberg, Benedict C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages76
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference: Evolution, Society and Culture - Natal, Brazil
Duration: 30 Jul 20142 Aug 2014
https://www.hbes.com/conference/

Conference

Conference26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference
Abbreviated titleHBESC
CountryBrazil
CityNatal
Period30/07/142/08/14
Internet address

Fingerprint

Sex Characteristics
Cues
Smiling
Sex Ratio
Interpersonal Relations
Safety

Cite this

Watkins, C. D., Debruine, L. M., Feinberg, D. R., & Jones, B. C. (2014). A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions. 76. Abstract from 26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Natal, Brazil.
Watkins, Christopher D. ; Debruine, Lisa M. ; Feinberg, David R. ; Jones, Benedict C. / A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions. Abstract from 26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Natal, Brazil.1 p.
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Watkins, CD, Debruine, LM, Feinberg, DR & Jones, BC 2014, 'A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions' 26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Natal, Brazil, 30/07/14 - 2/08/14, pp. 76.

A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions. / Watkins, Christopher D.; Debruine, Lisa M.; Feinberg, David R.; Jones, Benedict C.

2014. 76 Abstract from 26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Natal, Brazil.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

TY - CONF

T1 - A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions

AU - Watkins, Christopher D.

AU - Debruine, Lisa M.

AU - Feinberg, David R.

AU - Jones, Benedict C.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

M3 - Abstract

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Watkins CD, Debruine LM, Feinberg DR, Jones BC. A sex difference in the context sensitivity of dominance perceptions. 2014. Abstract from 26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Natal, Brazil.