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Social Perception of Dance Movements

Investigating The Signalling Value Of Male Body Movements Using Motion-Capture-Technology

dc.contributor.advisorFink, Bernhard Dr.
dc.contributor.authorWeege, Bettina
dc.titleSocial Perception of Dance Movementsde
dc.title.alternativeInvestigating The Signalling Value Of Male Body Movements Using Motion-Capture-Technologyde
dc.contributor.refereeFink, Bernhard Dr.
dc.description.abstractengBees do it, birds do it, and humans do it too – they dance. But what is the function of dance? The answer to this question is not trivial and has kept researchers busy for decades. It is certainly premature to conclude that the puzzle around the signalling quality of dance has yet been resolved, but there is corroborating evidence for the assertion that individuals communicate aspects of their condition as potential mating partners through dance movements. Evolutionary psychologists argue that dance conveys similar aspects of an individual’s quality as it has been reported for facial and body morphology. Like in animals it has been stated that men display elaborate dance movements that inform about strength and vigor, and may therefore be regarded as health cues. Women have indeed reported preferences for male dance movements that are physically demanding; whether dance movements also inform about male personality is yet unclear. The present thesis reports three studies on women’s perception of men’s dance movements, showing that i) women spend higher visual attention to “good” male dancers as compared to “bad” male dancers, ii) dance conveys aspects of male physical strength – a relationship that is absent in women, and iii) although male personality is not accurately assessed from dance movements, women tend to prefer dancers who signal low neuroticism to them. Men’s dance movements were motion-captured and applied onto a featureless, gender-neutral, virtual character (avatar). In a series of visual perception studies women’s visual attention, attractiveness, and personality assessments were obtained and related to measures of strength and self-reported personality of male dancers. Together the results support the hypothesis that women are visually sensitive to variation in male dance and tend to prefer those dancers who signal qualities, which may be beneficial in pursuing mate-related motives. Strength seems to be one of these features, but personality information does not seem to be encoded in male dance movements. However, the quality of certain movements may lead women to perceive them in a way that causes them to exhibit little preference for moves they suppose to be linked to male neuroticism. A detailed mathematical and biomechanical breakdown of objective movement characteristics and their relationships with perception is clearly an avenue for future
dc.contributor.coRefereePenke, Lars Prof. Dr.
dc.subject.engEvolutionary psychologyde
dc.subject.engPhysical strengthde
dc.subject.engVisual attentionde
dc.subject.engSocial perceptionde
dc.subject.engMotion capturede
dc.affiliation.instituteBiologische Fakultät für Biologie und Psychologiede
dc.subject.gokfullBiologie (PPN619462639)de

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