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Does the Facial Width-to-height Ratio and Testosterone Level Predict Social Dominance? Peng, Tianqi; Guo, Yingchi 2020-04

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Department of PsychologyDoes the Facial Width-to-height Ratio and Testosterone Level Predict Social Dominance?Tianqi Peng, Yingchi GuoBackground● Dominance is a commonly used strategy to maintain and gain social status.● High baseline testosterone level were found positively correlated with aggression, desire for power and risk taking behavior (Geniole et al, 2019; Ronay & Von Hippel, 2010).● fWHR predicts aggression (Haselhuhn, Ormiston, & Wong, 2015) and threats behavior (Geniole, 2015) in humans, which were contributing factors to dominance.● Past literature showed inconsistent evidence on the predicting effect of facial width to height ratio (fWHR) and testosterone levels on perceived dominance. ResultEXAMPLES OF HIGH AND LOW PERCEIVED DOMINANCE MEN PERCEIVED DOMINANCE PREDICTED FROM fWHR AND TESTOSTERONE● In contrast to H1, analysis of our samples suggests no significant relationship between testosterone level and perceived dominance.● A non-significant positive trend emerged when predicting dominance from fWHR (r = .18, p= .14)● Ethnicity was shown to be a potential mediating factor when predicting dominance from fWHR.Hypothesis:H1: Testosterone will positively predict perceived social dominance.H2:  fWHR will positively predict perceived social dominance. H3:  The two factors, testosterone and fWHR, may also interact with each other in predicting perceptions of social dominance level. DiscussionLimitation: The pictures used to measure fWHR were not taken for this particular study. Rather, they were taken for a larger study. Thus, although the pictures were somewhat standardized they were not perfectly controlled to be used for a fWHR measurement. Future direction: The influence of ethnicity on perceived dominance level deserves further exploration.Acknowledgement We wish to express our deepest gratitude to our research supervisors: Marlise Hofer and Dr. Frances Chen. Reference● Geniole, S. N., Bird, B. M., McVittie, J. S., Purcell, R. B., Archer, J., & Carré, J. M. (2019). Is testosterone linked to human aggression? A meta-analytic examination of the relationship between baseline, dynamic, and manipulated testosterone on human aggression. Hormones and behavior, 104644.● Geniole, S. N., Denson, T. F., Dixson, B. J., Carré, J. M., & McCormick, C. M. (2015). Evidence from meta-analyses of the facial width-to-height ratio as an evolved cue of threat. PloS one, 10(7), e0132726.● Haselhuhn, M. P., Ormiston, M. E., & Wong, E. M. (2015). Men’s facial width-to-height ratio predicts aggression: A meta-analysis. PLoS One, 10(4), e0122637.● Ma, D. S., Correll, J., & Wittenbrink, B. (2015). The Chicago face database: A free stimulus set of faces and norming data. Behavior research methods, 47(4), 1122-1135.● Ronay, R., & Von Hippel, W. (2010). Power, testosterone, and risk‐taking. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 23(5), 473-482. Methods● Testosterone. Saliva testosterone samples were collected from a racially diverse sample of male targets (n = 76; 36 Asian, 22 White, 5 Middle Eastern, 1 Hispanic, 12 unspecified)● Ratings of Dominance. ○ 27 undergraduate raters provided ratings on perceived dominance of the 72 male targets. ○ The mean of the two questions (“He enjoys having control over others” ; “He is willing to use aggressive tactics to get his way”) were taken as the rater’s dominance rating on the target (r = .75, p < .001). ● fWHR. Two independent coders measured and coded the fWHR of the male targets as specified in previous literature (Geniole, 2015). Note: (a) is a relatively more dominant male individual with a fWHR=235/126=1.87(b) is a relatively less dominant male individual with a fWHR=212/123=1.72


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