Individual differences in preferences for cues to intelligence in the face

Fhionna R. Moore, Miriam J. Law Smith, David Ian Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


We tested for individual differences in women's preferences for cues to intelligence in male faces in accordance with hormonal status (i.e. menstrual cycle phase and use of hormonal contraceptives), relationship status and context, and self-rated intelligence. There were no effects of hormonal or relationship status (Studies 1 and 2) on preferences. There was, however, a positive relationship between self-rated intelligence and preferences for cues to intelligence in the face in the context of a long-term relationship, suggesting context-specific assortment (Study 3). In Study 4, self-rated partner intelligence correlated with preferences for facial cues to intelligence. We discuss these results in the context of intelligence as a fitness indicator and suggest that future research must control for assortative mating for cognitive traits in order to better understand intelligence in mate choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Issue numberMay-June
Early online date3 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Fitness-indicator
  • Intelligence
  • Face
  • Attractiveness
  • Individual-differences


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