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Chickens prefer beautiful humans, study finds

  1. Oct 10, 2005 #1

    marcus

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    This was published in a peer reviewed journal---Human Nature---in 2002.

    the abstract is here:

    http://www.intercult.su.se/cgi-bin/public?action=search&text=ghirlanda

    Chickens prefer beautiful humans
    Ghirlanda, Stefano and Jansson, Liselotte and Enquist, Magnus
    Human Nature 13, 383-389 (2002)
    Abstract: We trained chickens to react to an average human female face but not to an average male face (or vice-versa). In a subsequent test, the animals showed preferences for faces consistent with human sexual preferences (obtained from university students). This suggests that human preferences arise from general properties of nervous systems, rather than from face-specific adaptations. We discuss this result in the light of current debate on the meaning of sexual signals, and suggest further tests of existing hypotheses about the origin of sexual preferences.
    Download: PDF (109 KB)

    the full text PDF link is

    http://www.intercult.su.se/refweb/ghir02/ChickenFace.pdf

    It looks to me like legitimate research, and certainly passed peer-review. Here is a homepage for one of the authors, Stefano Ghirlanda:
    http://www.intercult.su.se/~stefano/

    a general source for such things:
    http://www.improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html

    Thanks to ZapperZ for calling attention to the Igs.
    They can sometimes seem just as interesting as the Nobs.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

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    Just because it's peer-reviewed doesn't mean it's high impact. :biggrin: This is the sort of study that provides good support that as long as you use sound methodology, no matter how bizarre your question, there is a journal you can find to publish it in. :rofl:
     
  4. Oct 10, 2005 #3

    marcus

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    But this has important practical applications. Chickens are already being recruited to judge the Miss America contest.

    Hollywood is studying the next step which is to use them to preview films and predict mass audience appeal.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2005 #4

    matthyaouw

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    And if not, good old main stream media will do it!
     
  6. Oct 10, 2005 #5

    Evo

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    Perhaps chickens could judge that gawd awful American Idol tv show. I cannot believe people watch that. Maybe that would be considered cruelty to animals though.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2005 #6

    arildno

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  8. Oct 11, 2005 #7
    Here's an abstract of another paper by Ghirlanda:

    "Spectacular phenomena and limits to rationality in genetic and cultural evolutionEnquist, M. and Arak, A. and Ghirlanda, S. and Wachtmeister, C-A.Philosophical transaction of the royal society London B. 357, 1585-1594 (2002)Abstract: In studies of both animal and human behaviour, game theory is used as a tool for understanding strategies that appear in interactions between individuals. Game theory focuses on adaptive behaviour, which can be attained only at evolutionary equilibrium. Here we suggest that behaviour appearing during interactions is often outside the scope of such analysis. In many types of interaction, conflicts of interest exist between players, fueling the evolution of manipulative strategies. Such strategies evolve out of equilibrium, commonly appearing as spectacular morphology or behaviour with obscure meaning, to which other players may react in non-adaptive, irrational ways. We present a simple model to show some limitations of the game theory approach, and outline the conditions in which evolutionary equilibria cannot be maintained. Evidence from studies of biological interactions seems to support the view that behaviour is often not at equilibrium. This also appears to be the case for many human cultural traits, which have spread rapidly despite the fact that they have a negative influence on reproduction."

    I wonder if the chicken paper isn't explained by this:

    "In many types of interaction, conflicts of interest exist between players, fueling the evolution of manipulative strategies. Such strategies evolve out of equilibrium, commonly appearing as spectacular morphology or behaviour with obscure meaning, to which other players may react in non-adaptive, irrational ways."
     
  9. Oct 11, 2005 #8

    cronxeh

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    In a recent study I performed I found that I prefer big chunky chicken :biggrin:
     
  10. Oct 11, 2005 #9
    Untill I see the peer review I'm going to assume you faked your results.
     
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