Who is the fairest of them all? The independent effect of attractive features and self-perceived attractiveness on cooperation among women
The present paper analyzes the extent to which attractiveness-related variables affect cooperative behavior in women. Cooperativeness is evaluated through a Prisoner's Dilemma Game (PDG). We consider several morphometric variables related to attractiveness: Fluctuating Asymmetry (FA), Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR, Body Mass Index (BMI) and Facial Femininity (FF). These variables have been shown to predict human behavior. We also include as a control variable a score for Self-Perceived Attractiveness (SPA). We test differences in these variables according to behavior in the PDG. Our results reveal that low FA women cooperate less frequently in the PDG. We also find that women with lower WHR are more cooperative. This result contradicts the expected relation between WHR and behavior in the PDG. We show that this effect of WHR on cooperation operates through its influence on the expectation that participants hold on the cooperative intent of their counterpart. In addition, we show that the effect of attractive features on cooperation occurs independently of the participants' perception of their own appeal. Finally, we discuss our results in the context of the evolution of cooperative behavior and under the hypothesis that attractiveness is a reliable indicator of phenotypic quality.
|Date of creation:||2013|
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- Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Enrique Turiegano, 2009. "Testosterone, Facial Symmetry and Cooperation in the Prisoners' Dilemma," ESE Discussion Papers 192, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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- Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2013. "Two Studies on the Interplay between Social Preferences and Individual Biological Features," ESE Discussion Papers 218, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- S., Sanchez Pages & E., Tureigano, 2013. "Two Studies on the Interplay between Social Preferences and Individual Biological Features," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-46, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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