, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 135-147
Date: 15 Jan 2012

Fear Attenuated and Affection Augmented: Male Self-Presentation in a Romantic Context

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We investigated whether males use facial behavior strategically in order to increase their desirability as romantic partners. Participants were led to believe that a female research assistant who was either attractive or unattractive was observing them. Their task was to watch three short films: an excerpt from a horror film, a video of infants, and a neutral film. Males who thought they were being observed by the attractive assistant frowned less (AU4) while watching the horror film and smiled more (AU12, with and without AU6) while watching the infant film. Assistant attractiveness did not affect males’ facial behavior while they were watching the neutral film.