Phuong T. Do*,
Purdue University Calumet
Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/kaoukis.html
Abstract: Biocultural evolution suggests that humans place a stronger emphasis on socioemotional processes than biological factors in regard to sexual selection. Substantial evidence from past studies reinforces the proposition that mating preferences have a basis in one’s health and well-being. The indication that biological entities prefer to pass on favorable genes to their offspring can be traced back to Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Consistent findings have been observed regarding the influence of development on facial symmetry. Research suggests that facial symmetry reflects developmental stability, indicating how successful one’s genes are in shaping a symmetric organism despite environmental assaults. In line with previous research, the current research proposal examined the effect of facial symmetry (i.e., a biological process) and socioeconomic status (i.e., a socioemotional process) on judgment of perceived health. It was hypothesized that women would judge a man’s health according to his facial features and annual income. Stimuli consisted of individual faces that were separated into two distinct groups based on the degrees of fluctuating asymmetry and then were counterbalanced with two levels of socioeconomic status (i.e., low and high income). Findings indicated the relative importance of both biological and socioeconomic processes in perceived health. Although the hypothetical results are preliminary, these findings suggest practical applications for understanding the biocultural evolutionary process and characteristics of natural selection in mankind.