I am interested in face perception, from evolutionary and social psychological perspectives. In particular, I am interested in facial attractiveness, how we perceive health from the face, and how aspects of our facial appearance are linked with certain personality judgments. I have also been developing a biological account of how makeup increases facial attractiveness, and how it affects social judgments.

Areas of Expertise

  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Facial attractiveness
  • Social judgments
  • Personality
  • Health perception
  • Face perception

Publications

  1. The influence of shape and colour cue classes on facial health perception. Evolution and Human Behavior
  2. & Positive facial affect looks healthy. Visual Cognition, 1-12.
  3. & The Influence of the Opposite Sex on Hypothetical Aggressive Inclinations. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 088626051772483
  4. & Facial Contrast Declines with Age but Remains Sexually Dimorphic Throughout Adulthood. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology
  5. & Have I grooved to this before? Discriminating practised and observed actions in a novel context. Acta Psychologica 175, 42-49.

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Teaching

  • PS-100 Academic and Professional Development

    This module provides psychology students with the key skills that are required to succeed in degree level study in the discipline of psychology and beyond university as a graduate. There is an emphasis on building the skills necessary for independent study, such as time management, critical thinking and incorporating using feedback to improve academic performance. In the first half of the module, students will experience how and when to use a tool kit of study skills through a series of workshops and blended learning packs. Students will create a portfolio of reflections on their experience of making the transition to university study during the first year. In addition personal development planning is an important aspect of the module in order to record and further develop the skills needed for graduate employment. As part of the module students enrol in the Swansea Employability Award (SEA) and complete the bronze level (the Know Yourself module) by the end of Semester 2.

  • PSY320 Dissertation

    This optional module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an extended literature review to discover what is currently known about an interesting, but less well known, area of psychology that is not taught as part of the psychology curriculum in Level 5 or 6. Students work independently, guided by their dissertation supervisor, to research a topic of their choice. In recent years students have written dissertations about `political psychology¿, `positive psychology¿ `why people take part in extreme sports¿, `does cannabis use cause schizophrenia¿ and many other diverse lines of enquiry.

  • PSY347 Evolution and Human Behaviour

    This module examines human behaviour through the lens of evolutionary theory, considering how challenges faced by our ancestors have shaped our thinking and behaviour. The module will first build an understanding of evolutionary theory and how it differs from traditional approaches to psychology, with a focus on the role of natural and sexual selection. We will then examine how these selection pressures have shaped a range of human behaviours. There will be a primary focus on attractiveness and mate choice, altruism and moral emotions, human signaling systems, personality, and competitive behaviour. We will explore and find answers to important questions such as why we find certain people attractive, how relationships are formed, why we help others, and how our appearance signals aspects of our fitness.

Supervision

  • Judging a book by its cover - involuntary responses to facial cues as an indicator of personality type across developmentally impaired populations (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Jeremy Tree

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2013 2014 Research Project Support Officer Bangor
2014 2015 Postdoctoral Research Associate Gettysburg