Social perceptions of men’s dominance and variations in men’s intrasexual competitiveness

Torrance, Jaimie Stephen (2020) Social perceptions of men’s dominance and variations in men’s intrasexual competitiveness. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Dominance plays a central role in human social interaction. Over the years, researchers have learned a lot about how men’s dominance is perceived by others, including that people use a variety of perceptual cues when judging men’s dominance and that these judgements are typically consistent across observers. However, questions remain concerning what external factors can influence a person’s perceptions of other’s dominance, and what factors affect individual differences in dominance and competitiveness. This thesis will review the current literature on dominance in men, before presenting three empirical chapters aimed at addressing gaps in the current literature. The first empirical chapter investigates the effects of testosterone and cortisol, on male intrasexual competitiveness, a key dominance behaviour. The study uses a longitudinal design to examine natural fluctuations in hormone levels over time. The study found no evidence of either a within-subject or between subject effect of testosterone, cortisol or their interaction, on intrasexual competitiveness. The second empirical chapter investigated regional variation in sensitivity to cues of dominance across US states. Despite strong theoretical predictions, the results show no compelling evidence that regional variation in population sex ratio influence sensitivity to cues of dominance. The final empirical chapter investigated the influence of transient cues, specifically head orientation on perceptions of dominance and trustworthiness. The results show that while tilting one’s head down does reliably increase perceptions of dominance and decrease perceptions of trustworthiness, it appears that cue does not have downstream context contingent effects for leadership judgements.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Face perception, social perception, dominance, competitiveness, testosterone, intrasexual competitiveness, sexual selection.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Supervisor's Name: Jones, Prof. Ben C. and DeBruine, Prof. Lisa M.
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Jaimie S Torrance
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81980
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2021 11:19
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 09:14
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81980
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