Sexually Selective Cognition: Beauty Captures the Mind of the Beholder

Jon K. Maner*, Douglas T. Kenrick, D. Vaughn Becker, Andrew W. Delton, Brian Hofer, Christopher J. Wilbur, Steven L. Neuberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Across 5 experimental studies, the authors explore selective processing biases for physically attractive others. The findings suggest that (a) both male and female observers selectively attend to physically attractive female targets, (b) limiting the attentional capacity of either gender results in biased frequency estimates of attractive females, (c) although females selectively attend to attractive males, limiting females' attentional capacity does not lead to biased estimates of attractive males, (d) observers of both genders exhibit enhanced recognition memory for attractive females but attenuated recognition for attractive males. Results suggest that different mating-related motives may guide the selective processing of attractive men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1120
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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