Are pictures sexier at the top of your computer screen or at the bottom?


Pictures of women are rated sexier at the bottom of the screen. Men are seen as more attractive when their photos are presented at the top of the screen:

Grounded theory proposes that abstract concepts (e.g., power) are represented by perceptions of vertical space (e.g., up is powerful; down is powerless). We used this theory to examine predictions made by evolutionary psychologists who suggest that desirable males are those who have status and resources (i.e., powerful) while desirable females are those who are youthful and faithful (i.e., powerless). Using vertical position as an implicit cue for power, we found that male participants rated pictures of females as more attractive when their images were presented near the bottom of a computer screen, whereas female participants rated pictures of males as more attractive when their images were presented near the top of a computer screen. Our results support the evolutionary theory of attraction and reveal the social-judgment consequences of grounded theories of cognition.

Source: Brian P. Meier and Sarah Dionne (2009). Downright Sexy: Verticality, Implicit Power, and Perceived Physical Attractiveness. Social Cognition: Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 883-892.

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