Gaydar--the supposed ability to identify a person's sexual preference just by looking at them--may be more than just a bad pun. A couple of studies have been done on this recently, as part of broader research into the general ability of humans to very quickly make correct judgments about other humans' skills, personalities, age, etc.Turns out, people asked to guess whether a man is gay or a woman is a lesbian, just by looking at the subject's face, got it right at a rate higher than that which could be explained by mere chance. And the trick worked even when the images were cropped to remove all trace of tip-offs like hair style or fashion accessories.
So far, the studies have been very small and they certainly don't show that gaydar, if it does exist, is foolproof. The guessers did statistically significantly better than chance, but they weren't exactly sexual-orientation sniffing bloodhounds. There's also some open questions about whether the gender or sexual orientation of the guesser makes a difference on the rate of accuracy. What the research does do is add to considerable body of evidence showing that humans are evolutionarily programmed to pay extremely close attention to the facial features of other humans, and it tells us that we still have a lot to learn about what that programming means for ideas like "instinct".
Cognitive Daily: People Identify the Sexual Orientation of Strangers in As Fast as 50 Miliseconds
Miller-McCune: Subjects Correctly Identify Lesbians Solely on Facial Features
With so many costumes adorning this election season, you might think the Halloween get-ups are overkill. Think again, because David Ng and B.R. Cohen are here to present the official universal survey about your candy favorites for the 2016 hierarchical delineation of candy virtue.
University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]