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Challenges to both reliability and validity of masculinity-preference measures in menstrual-cycle-effects research

Lewis, Michael B. 2020. Challenges to both reliability and validity of masculinity-preference measures in menstrual-cycle-effects research. Cognition 197 , 104201. 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104201
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Abstract

Although it remains contentious, women's changeable attraction to masculine faces has been used to inform evolutionary ideas about human mating strategies. Typical experiments in this area use two-alternative-forced-choice (2afc) over a few pairs of similar images. The reliability of these measures is analysed suggesting that many studies have too few trials to be reliable. In the current experiment, fertility shifts in preferences for masculinised faces (and Africanised faces) were explored using both attractiveness ratings and a 2afc method over 80 pairs. The 2afc method showed a fertility shift in preferences whereas attractiveness ratings did not show a shift. Further, it was demonstrated how the size of the preferences shown in the 2afc tasks correlated with general face-matching performance. It is concluded that fertility is associated with improved face-processing accuracy and hence 2afc designs have poor validity as measures of masculinity preference. These issues of validity and reliability may have contributed to the contentious nature of fertility effects on preferences. Further, validity and reliability need to be considered in any study where a change in preference is identified using a comparative-preference task.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0010-0277
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 January 2020
Last Modified: 27 May 2020 15:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/128902

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