The eye wants what the heart wants: Female face preferences are related to partner personality preferences

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Description: Women prefer male faces with feminine shape and masculine reflectance. Here, we investigate the conceptual correlates of this preference, showing that it might reflect women’s preferences for feminine (vs. masculine) personality in a partner. Young heterosexual women reported their preferences for personality traits in a partner, and rated male faces – manipulated on masculinity/femininity – on stereotypically masculine (e.g., dominance) and feminine traits (e.g., warmth). Masculine shape and reflectance increased perceptions of masculine traits, but had different effects on perceptions of feminine traits and attractiveness. While masculine shape decreased perceptions of both attractiveness and feminine traits, masculine reflectance increased perceptions of attractiveness and to a weaker extent of feminine traits. These findings are consistent with the idea that sex-dimorphic characteristics elicit personality trait judgments, which might in turn affect attractiveness. Importantly, participants found faces attractive to the extent that these faces elicited their preferred personality traits, regardless of gender-typicality of the traits. In sum, women’s preferences for male faces are associated with their preferences for personality traits.© 2020, American Psychological Association. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors' permission. The final article will be available, upon publication, via its DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000858

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